2 fire stations temporarily closed in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Signs at some North Las Vegas fire stations say they are closed due to a staffing shortage.
Yesterday and today two fire stations were closed.
"There was no sickout yesterday, that's very misleading," says Jeff Hurley, President of the North Las Vegas Firefighters Union. "We had five people -- two of those are on workers comp -- that called out sick and that is normal."
City management says they're looking into why their staffing is inadequate to cover all the necessary equipment.
Tuesday, three engines and eight rescue units were not in operation.
Union reps say staffing shortages were compensated for using overtime money in the past fiscal year. However, starting July 1, overtime pay was reduced and therefore their under staffing has become more apparent.
"The reality is, we need more people... bottom line," says Hurley.
City Manager Tim Hacker says there are still the same number of staff as there were June 30, but the department's budget has been reduced to about half. Hacker says it's something they had to do to balance the budget. They also cut out several funded but unfilled positions.
Regarding these closures, Hacker says "The fire chief made me fully aware that if we couldn't use unlimited overtime that it would have an affect going forward on operations and he devised a plan to address that affect."
Hacker says "what we're right now dealing with and responding to is, frankly, unexpected absences."
Hurley disputes that, saying they knew two stations would be closed today.
"We do our staffing two weeks in advance, so we absolutely knew," says Hurley. "The shortage is because city management hasn't put the fire department as a priority."
For the 4th of July holiday overtime pay will be allowed and all equipment will be staffed.