Skip to main content

As it deals with more fires, Brooklyn Park looks to increase full-time firefighters

The department is struggling to keep up with demand for its services.

As a growing population brings more fires to Brooklyn Park, the city's fire department is looking to shift away from "on-call" firefighters in favor of full-timers.

The city's fire chief John Cunningham is recommending the city eliminate its 21 paid-on-call firefighters and replace them with 11 full-timers, after a report highlighted the city's current staffing levels present a risk for resident safety.

An independent report carried out for the city noted there was "diminishing participation from the paid-on-call staff" at the department, adding that it has an "insufficient budget to meet all service demands."

Cunningham's plan would increase the number of on-duty firefighters from 6 to 8, but would cost the city a shade over $400,000-a-year extra, which could be covered by federal grants.

It would mean that the city's 4 fire stations would be manned at all times by at least two firefighters. Currently the East Station is unmanned, per CCX Media.

The report prepared for the city shows that Brooklyn Park deals with a significantly higher amount of calls for service than other Twin Cities suburbs, albeit it has a larger population than most.

It receives more than 9,000 emergency calls a year, almost 7,000 more calls for service than the fire department in Bloomington, which has a larger population than Brooklyn Park.

It's responding to these calls despite having a smaller fire budget than some other suburban cities, including Burnsville and Eden Prairie.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 11.45.39 AM

It's expected the proposed staffing changes would take 18 months to implement.

WCCO notes that the City of Maplewood recently moved its fire department from paid-on-call to full-time staffing.

Next Up


Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.


Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.


Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.


Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.


MN's COVID update for the week ending Tuesday, Nov. 29

There are now more than 570 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota.


Twin Cities nurses to strike for 20 days starting Dec. 11

A strike in Duluth and Two Harbors doesn't have an end date set.


La Quinta Inn

Standoff at Brooklyn Park ends safely, suspect in custody

The La Quinta Inn had been evacuated and the area surrounding it cordoned off.

Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 7.29.00 AM

Police officer, suspect wounded in shootout in Brooklyn Park

The officer suffered a non-life-threatening wound.

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 6.52.38 AM

Brooklyn Park businesses close for evening after shootings nearby

Police say they have seen a 'drastic' rise in violence over the past month.

Threat to Brooklyn Park schools linked to harassing calls across the U.S.

The threat didn't come from a local number, police said.

Police looking for man wanted over Brooklyn Park stabbing

He's alleged to have stabbed someone multiple times in the head and face.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 4.10.41 PM

Burglars smash window, steal cash from Brooklyn Park restaurant

The thieves struck in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Pedestrian killed crossing Hwy. 252 in Brooklyn Park

The rush-hour collision shut the northbound highway.