RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) --The City of Reno has been notified that due to funding limitations for a grant provided by FEMA, the Reno Fire Department will have to make some changes, including layoffs.
Chief Michael Hernandez says he found out yesterday the "SAFER" grant would not be available this year. The fire department has been receiving this grant since 2011. Chief Hernandez says they've always had a "plan B" in case they didn't receive this funding, but admits yesterday's news came as a shock.
Effective May 1st, 35 Reno firefighters will receive their 60-day notices. Their last day on the job will be July 1st. Chief Hernandez says the layoffs will be based on seniority. The last to be hired will be the first to go.
"While this news is disappointing, the Reno Fire Department will continue to provide a high level of service to the citizens of Reno and support the priorities of the City Council to provide safe and livable neighborhoods and provide efficient and responsive city services," City Manager Andrew Clinger said.
The loss of funding also affects Fire Station 10. The station located on North Virginia Street will be added to the two stations currently being browned-out on a regular basis. Chief Hernandez says this station receives about 1,000 calls per year and accounts for about 3% of the total call volume. He's confident the surrounding stations will be able to cover that area and response time will increase by about 2-4 minutes.
Chief Hernandez says this really could have come at anytime and they were prepared in case it did. He also adds this will have no effect on the new station that opened in Damonte Ranch last week.