BRYAN, Tx (KYLE) — With budget cuts all across the country, staffing fire departments is getting more and more difficult.
The city of Bryan sees the importance of maintaining a top-notch department so they've approved a resolution to add 33 new positions over the next ten years.
It's been a difficult year for fire Chief Randy McGregor and the Bryan Fire Department; in February they experienced their deadliest day in the department's history when they lost two of their very own.
Since then Chief McGregor has vowed to honor Lts. Greg Pickard and Eric Wallace and make the department stronger than ever before.
"It's just one of those things you know that you put as a goal that you want to work towards, among other things, and this is a big one," said Chief McGregor.
Tuesday night a big step was taken in reaching that goal when the Bryan City Council approved a resolution to allow the department to add 33 new positions over a ten-year period.
It's a move B-shift firefighter, Justin Orler, says will help make the department better in more ways than one.
"Having that extra man doesn't just help that single unit, it helps the department as a whole on the fire ground," said Orler.
The plan is to make sure every truck is staffed with four firefighters instead of three (which is the national average) and each battalion chief will get an aide.
Staffing numbers that will help make the firefighters more efficient.
"It can reduce the time, studies have shown, by about 25% getting these critical task done much quicker so that's better for the people's property that is on fire or if they're trapped and it will definitely help our folks," said Chief McGregor.
The department has been approved to hire six new firefighters this year.
And with additional staff... it will not only ensure the safety for our community but the safety for our firefighters as well.
Orler is looking forward to having more hands on deck, "It's a big deal that they're willing to support us in whatever we need."
Chief McGregor says they'll begin implementing the resolution this October.
In all, it'll cost about $2 million annually in today's dollars over the ten-year period.