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Sep 19, 2013 7:26 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

Council Considering Study on Efficiency of Fire Department

CORPUS CHRISTI - The city council will vote next week on whether to conduct an efficiency study of the fire department. The study will cost thousands of dollars. The president of the firefighters union says that's a big waste of your tax dollars.

Corpus Christi Fire Association President Carlos Torres tells me the city did a similar study in 2005. Plus, the Fire Chief did his own study recently and the International Association of Firefighters just finished conducting another study free of charge for the city. So, Torres tells me the $98,000 the city wants to spend to have an outside source conduct another study could be better spent elsewhere.

"Enough is enough. Why are we spending the tax dollars on another study," said Torres.

After three studies already conducted for the city, the firefighters union is now asking why we do need another one. Firefighters with the union say the money the city wants to use on the study could be used in other places.

"We need additional ambulances. You know that would pay for another ambulance possibly," said Torres.

Torres says the city already knows what the study will show, the same issues that were brought up in the past three studies.

"You have staffing issues, not enough ambulances, training could be better, the fire stations could be worked on because they're old stations, and the morale of the EMS and fire personnel," said Torres.

So the question is why not just use the past three studies? Well Councilman David Loeb said, "we wanted to make sure that there weren't other ways to deliver services."

Either way Torres says when it came to the past studies the city never followed through with the results. So he says what's the point of conducting another one if the same thing is going to happen.

"The bottom line is are you addressing it. Because in the last study they addressed a lot of the non monetary items. And are they going to do the same thing here?" asked Torres.

The city says no.

"I think we probably have a better system in place now to making sure that when we do these things we actually do follow through on what they say," said Loeb.

City Council will have the first reading of the $98,000 study at Tuesday's council meeting. If it's passed through the first and second readings then the city says the study will begin sometime this year and will receive the findings in March of 2014.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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