Mayor researching possible changes in city services - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor researching possible changes in city services

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton on the hunt, looking to cut fat in city run divisions. Police and especially the fire department are now on his screen.

In-fact, Herenton's asked for an analysis of our services verses other similar cities, "We're looking at benefits, what do they pay employees in Atlanta, Dallas, St. Louis and Charlotte just to mention a few to see if we're comparable or are we excessive."

We did a comparison of our own. Memphis has 56 fire stations, 1500 active firefighters and serves more than 650,000 people. Atlanta proper has 35 fire stations with 1100 active firefighters and serves more than four hundred thousand people. Dallas has 54 station, 1755 firefighters and serves 1.2 million people. And Charlotte rounds out the bunch with 37 fire stations, 1015 firefighters and a populace of 650,000.

Memphis firefighter Joe Norman says comparing cities can be an apples to oranges situation, "Response times are based mainly on the layout of the city and the population that is immediately served." Norman says he fears any possible reduction in stations or changes in staffing could lead to major problems, "Each fire station has an area that it's responsible for. You take a station out of service then the other stations in the area are not only responsible for their area but also the area that's no longer covered."

Right now, Mayor Herenton says he's only studying possible changes.

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