Just days after the major Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church fire in Downtown Milwaukee, the fire chief has announced potential cuts for 2019.
At Thursday’s Public Safety Committee meeting Chief Mark Rohlfing said the department would likely have to shed one engine company and approximately 15 personnel in the coming budget year.
“We take what our elected officials give us and do the absolute best job we can to provide our citizens with excellent service,” said Rohlfing.
The announcement comes one year after major cuts at the department took 5 engine companies and 6 firehouses.
"We had a lot more firefighters 10 years ago so we can get to the fire quicker,” Rohlfing said.
But the chief stresses the department’s response times still fall within or above the national averages. When asked by committee members if the public is safe, Rohlfing responded “I don't believe that's a yes or no question. It's not that easy.”
Rohlfing points to improved technology and equipment as other factors that keep residents safe.
These cuts are currently only proposed. The budget process still has to go through the mayor’s office and then the common council before it can be approved and any cuts made.