Fire officials are urging an Illinois city to restore staffing to the department after recent injuries to firefighters.
Three Peoria firefighters were injured in two residential fires over the weekend, WMBD-TV reports. Fire Chief Jim Bachman said all of the department’s resources were used for the two calls, and crews could’ve used more help.
“We understand that that’s really difficult this time the way the city’s finances are, but certainly another fire machine could’ve made a difference in putting a quicker stop on this fire,” Bachman said. “We wouldn’t be saying we’d like to see Engine 2 come back just for the sake of saying we’d like to see engine 2 come back.”
The head of Peoria’s firefighters union agreed. Ryan Brady is pushing for the city to use money from the American Rescue Plan to beef up the department before a firefighter or resident is seriously injured.
“The last thing we want to see is a civilian or firefighter injury or tragedy or even worse, loss of life because we can’t put enough firefighters on the scene in one of these incidents,” he said.
Since 2019, the department has lost 33 fire suppression positions, Brady told WMBD.