PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland firefighters who have long been lobbying for more staff received some good news Wednesday.
Portland City Council announced they are is moving ahead with plans to fund an additional 13 firefighters.
The council gave preliminary approval, but if the decision gets final approval next week, it would allow the fire bureau to immediately make additional hires.
The firefighters union has long fought for more firefighters, to alleviate the mandatory overtime underway to make sure there is enough coverage throughout the city’s 31 fire stations. A big argument was the millions of dollars the city was spending on overtime could be fixed by hiring more firefighters.
New City Commissioner Rene Gonzalez, who is in charge of the fire bureau, was backed by the firefighters union, and tweeted Thursday about the preliminary approval.
“We ran the numbers on this, and it’s a win all around. These positions will be critical in beginning to stabilize Fire’s staffing, which has been stretched so thin from the chaos on our streets, and to begin to move beyond their historic overtime spending,” Gonzalez said. “Work’s not nearly done, but this is a critical start.”