Prichard mayor responds to under-staffing concerns at fire depar - FOX10 News | WALA

Prichard mayor responds to under-staffing concerns at fire department

Posted: Updated:
Jimmie Gardner, right, is pictured on the night of his win in the Prichard mayoral runoff race. (Photo: Lee Peck, FOX10 News) Jimmie Gardner, right, is pictured on the night of his win in the Prichard mayoral runoff race. (Photo: Lee Peck, FOX10 News)

One day after FOX10 News Investigates broke the story that the Prichard Fire Department only has 10 certified firefighters, and 16 total emergency responders, on staff, FOX10 News caught up with the city's mayor about what will be done to keep citizens safe.

Prichard Mayor Jimmie Gardner said he keeps losing firefighters to other city departments that can pay more.

The Mobile County Personnel Board website said Prichard does offer the lowest starting salary in the county for firefighters, at only $23,000 a year.

Now that the Prichard fire department is down to only 16 employees, the interim fire chief said he plans to hire 30 more firefighters soon.

Mayor Gardner said he does have the money in the budget for that, because they've hired that many employees in the past.

The problem is, he said, once the city gets a good group of firefighters trained, they are then scooped-up by other cities offering higher salaries, something the mayor called a "vicious cycle."

FOX10 News asked the mayor if he will give firefighters higher salaries to remain competitive. 

"Oh yeah without a doubt," Gardner responded. "We want to do that, but that's something that must happen. Our city has taken a small budget, and has had to do a lot more with a lot less, unfortunately, and we will continue to try to work toward increasing revenues in our city. But again, that's a work in progress."

In the meantime, Mayor Gardner said he believes the fire department is still doing a great job, despite being so short-staffed, even though some residents told FOX10 News they are concerned the under-staffing is putting their safety is at risk.

FOX10 News will continue to hold the city accountable, and we'll let you know if and when they do hire more people or increase the pay for firefighters.

All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

Powered by Frankly
FOX10TV.com
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.