MFD 'brownouts' could impact public safety - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MFD 'brownouts' could impact public safety

Posted: Updated:
The fire station near Thomas Street and Chelsea Avenue was recently saved from permanent closure, leaving many neighbors relieved. The fire station near Thomas Street and Chelsea Avenue was recently saved from permanent closure, leaving many neighbors relieved.
  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • MPD officer charged with sexual battery

    MPD officer charged with sexual battery

    Friday, April 18 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-04-18 18:09:58 GMT
    (WMC-TV) – An officer with the Memphis Police Department is charged with sexual battery that stemmed from events that happened during a traffic stop on February 11. While on duty, MPD Officer Meekos Evans,More >>
    An officer with the Memphis Police Department is charged with sexual battery that stemmed from events that happened during a traffic stop on February 11.More >>
  • Police investigate Friday morning armed robbery

    Police investigate Friday morning armed robbery

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:36 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:36:29 GMT
    (WMC-TV) – Memphis police were called to reports of a shooting in the 1700 block of Latham Street, near the intersection of Preston Street. The call came in around 6:30 a.m. on Friday. This happened atMore >>
    Memphis police were called to a robbery in the 1700 block of Latham Street, near the intersection of Preston Street. The call came in around 6:30 a.m. on Friday.More >>
  • Free Easter events in the Mid-South

    Free Easter events in the Mid-South

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:21 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:21:13 GMT
    (WMC-TV) – Mid-Southerners don't have to look far to find something fun to do this Easter weekend. WMC Action News 5's Lindsey Brown has the scoop on some free events to help you get outside and enjoyMore >>
    Mid-Southerners don't have to look far to find something fun to do this Easter weekend. WMC Action News 5's Lindsey Brown has the scoop on some free events to help you get outside and enjoy the spring weather.More >>

(WMC-TV) - Budget woes are forcing "brownouts" by the Memphis Fire Department. Brownouts are when fire trucks are left out of service because of a lack of personnel.

The station on Union Avenue has been affected. The firefighters union believes it is only a matter of time before public safety is impacted.

The fire station near Thomas Street and Chelsea Avenue was recently saved from permanent closure, leaving many neighbors relieved.

"If a fire [catches] here or anywhere else ... I mean, they're right there," said neighbor Melissa Vaughn.

But they are not happy knowing the truck could be at risk of going out of service during the brownout.

Memphis Firefighters Association President Thomas Malone says there has been at least two brownouts this week alone.

"This is something that's been used around the country. It's something we think is dangerous," said Malone.

Basically, brownouts are one way to avoid paying overtime when staffing is short. Pieces of equipment at a particular station end up sitting idle.

"But when something happens, something has to be moved in, and when something is moved in, then something over here goes without ... It's a continuous domino effect," said Malone.

The brownouts are one way the department is filling a multimillion dollar budget gap. Malone says just because there has yet to be any serious problems does not mean there will not be any in the future.

"And what the problem is, is that nobody knows how really bad it is until something devastating happens," said Malone.

A spokesman for the fire department says no problems have occurred since the brownouts were implemented, but there is not enough data to determine how long they will be used.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow