- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) - The union representing Minnesota firefighters says changes to the fire department in Brainerd could delay response times.

The Brainerd City Council could vote as early as Monday on eliminating its full-time firefighting positions. The city’s fire department has five full-time firefighters and 38 paid on-call positions. City administrators say Brainerd could save $265,000 a year if all firefighters were paid on-call positions.

Administrator Jim Thoreen tells Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1UYIaMU ) the model works for comparably sized cities like Fergus Falls and Hutchinson. The Minnesota Professional Firefighters says response times could double or triple with all firefighters on-call because they have to travel to the station to get the fire engine.

Union president Chris Parsons says the change could be detrimental to the safety of Brainerd residents.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

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