Skip to main content

What if Brainerd had no full-time firefighters? City considering 'on-call' only force

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Brainerd, Minnesota, could save as much as $265,000 per year by relying entirely on an on-call force of firefighters, but is it worth the savings?

That's the subject of a debate between city officials and firefighter union representatives, who say that doing away with Brainerd's full-time fire crews could seriously delay their emergency response times and pose a potential danger to the community, MPR News reports.

But some harsh financial realities have forced Brainerd to consider the measure, with City Administrator Jim Thoreen telling the station, "the essential problem is costs exceeding existing revenues."

According to the Brainerd Dispatch, the Minnesota Professional Firefighters union argues that paid on-call fire crews could take up to three times longer to respond to a blaze, and that restructuring Brainerd's fire department in such a way would hurt the city's ISO rating – a classification insurance companies use to calculate rates in a certain area.

However, Fire Chief Tim Holmes says the department is already not a full-time one, and that maintaing the current model is not "economically feasible," the paper notes.

Currently, the department has five full-time firefighters and 38 on-call firefighters, KARE 11 reports.

The station says the city council could vote on the restructuring "as early as Monday."

Next Up

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

Related