Steve Earle called in recently asking why volunteer firefighters were not working out at the Air Races this year ?
Steve I talked to a few people about this. Tim Spencer is a battallion chief for the Reno Fire Department and he's also the emergency services director for the Air Races.
Volunteer firefighters have always worked out at the Air Races but they didn't this year. Spencer says he offered the volunteers a different assignment this year. Instead of working on the tarmac with the other Reno Firefighters he wanted them stationed on the outlying areas of the race course and outside the gates. Those areas are in the county jurisdiction and not the city.
Spencer says he was concerned the union would file a grievance if volunteers were allowed to work alongside Reno Firefighters. So he offered the volunteers a different job this year and they sent a letter to the fire chief declining that offer.
I also talked to the union vice president. He says they were not involved in this issue and did not threaten to file a grievance. But the bottom line is the volunteers did not like the assignment they were given and were not part of the Air Races this year.