- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines firefighter union president is calling for increased staffing after five firefighters were injured in a weekend blaze.

Local union president Joe Van Haalen told KCCI-TV (https://bit.ly/1qnAOSf ) on Tuesday firefighters are in danger because of the staffing level. He says firefighters at the Aug. 30 fire had to use about twice as many air tanks as normal because the crews couldn’t rotate enough.

Van Haalen says the city employs 26 fewer firefighters than it did a decade ago. The city’s population has grown during that period.

Interim city manager Larry Hulse says the city spends about 60 percent of its budget on public safety. He says the decrease in staffing is not jeopardizing response times.

The city has commissioned a study to review data and fire department resources.

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Information from: KCCI-TV, https://www.kcci.com


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