The Denton Fire Fighters Association says cutting their budget could put public safety at risk.
The City of Denton is facing a budget crunch and, during a council meeting, discussed cutting overtime pay across all city departments by 33-percent. Only the Denton Police Department would be spared, but the department would still have to cut their overtime budget by 10-percent. The proposed cuts would save the city close to $432,000.
The Denton Fire Fighters Association is hoping the fire department will be spared from the cuts.
"We're worried about ourselves and the safety of the our citizens that we protect," said Mike Tucker, President of the Denton Fire Fighters Association.
Tucker says the cutting the budget would mean two or three fire fighters off the streets on any given day. Some fire engines, that are normally manned by four fire fighters, would have be manned by three.
Tucker said having only three firefighters in certain situation could pose problems.
"For the 'Two In, Two Out' rule of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), we cannot go inside and fight that fire. We have to wait for a fourth person. So if there are only three people on the engine, they have to wait outside, " Tucker said. "They can still be doing different things around the scene to get ready to fight the fire."
The exception to that rule is if there is there is someone trapped inside a burning building.
During the council meeting, Council member Charlye Heggins, said she'd rather raise taxes than cut services, but not all Denton residents agree with that sentiment.
"I'm never for raising taxes," said Denton resident, Mike Davis. "I'm more for taking things out of the budget that don't need to be there."
The Denton Fire Association plans to pass out flyers to educate the community of the budget issue. The City will hold two public hearings to discuss the budget before they vote on a final budget on Sept. 21.