PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While Portland has dealt with a firefighter staffing crisis for months, city leaders are attempting to address the problem.

The staffing troubles have caused Portland Fire & Rescue times to not be fast enough. Fire Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is proposing adjustments to the budget to hire more firefighters.

“Since I became the Commissioner in charge of Portland Fire & Rescue over three years ago, I’ve seen how firefighters and all members of the bureau step up to perform whatever task they are asked to do as Portland has endured crisis after crisis,” said Hardesty. “It’s time for the Portland City Council to step up and have their back. This is about the safety of all Portlanders.”

Hardesty is asking Mayor Ted Wheeler to authorize 13 new full-time firefighter positions, preserve the rapid response vehicle program, which responds to less severe calls and prevent $3 million in cuts to Portland Fire & Rescue in the upcoming Fall budget monitoring process.

The union president says this needed to happen a couple of years ago and that years of mandatory overtime are burning firefighters out.

“What we’re hearing from firefighters, is they’re just at a breaking point,” said PF&R President Isaac McLennan said. “That’s the right move. It’s just not enough. We feel 13 positions is short. We estimate that number to be higher somewhere around 29.”

Hardesty’s proposal comes after a recent Citygate study on Portland’s firefighter staffing levels that recommended permanently funding 16 full-time positions, restoring Engine 23 with full staffing and adding a fire station in SE Portland.

“The City Gate report gives us a roadmap of what we need institutionally. But I can tell you, fire has been neglected for decades. You can see that in our training facility,” Hardesty said.

Hardesty says she is working with Chief Sara Boone on a three-year staffing plan to address the shortage of firefighters, with a focus on improving the hiring and training process.

Since Hardesty is up for re-election, KOIN 6 reached out to the Rene Gonzalez campaign for comment.

““This is too little too late, coming out of nowhere right before an election. There are structural weaknesses in the city’s staffing for Fire that should have been addressed in the last annual budgeting cycle. BMP is for minor technical amendments to budget, not for fundamental shifts in policy. This should have been addressed last budget cycle by Fire Commissioner Hardesty. Portland Fire has endorsed my campaign and are among our most ardent and enthusiastic supporters because they know I will proactively address fire staffing and broader public safety support on day one, not years later,” Gonzalez said.