LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County Fire Department (CCFD) is temporarily reducing some of their field units as they experience a significant reduction in calls for service amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to 12 of CCFD’s suppression units will be taken out of rotation effective Wednesday. The drop in calls is particularly in the Las Vegas Strip resort area.
The stay-at-home orders, along with the closures of the resort properties, has resulted in a 34% reduction in overall calls, CCFD says.
According to Erik Pappa, Clark County’s director of public communications, this reduction will not cut jobs, but it will reduce overtime.
“When a firefighter calls in sick or is out due to vacation or injury, then another firefighter from another shift back-fills the position and is paid overtime,” Pappa told 8 News Now.
Those individuals part of the 12 units will now be moved to fill the vacancies at regular pay, instead of overtime pay.
The 12 units that are being taken out of rotation include:
- 5 rescue units,
- 4 engine companies,
- 1 ladder truck,
- 1 rescue squad and
- 1 battalion chief
Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck said the factors considered for the temporary shutdown include call volume, fire response, patient transporting, and additional in-station or surrounding resources.
“This is a very fluid situation. A unit that makes sense to temporarily shut down this week may very well not make sense next week. The majority of these units are in the resort corridor and are usually among the busiest in the country. The drop in visitor volume has caused service demand to fall significantly in these areas. We will continuously reevaluate the demands for service across the County so we can fully utilize our resources as efficiently as possible.”Chief John Steinbeck
Steinbeck emphasizes that the department will still be able to appropriately respond to fire and EMS calls.
Steinbeck said the temporary shutdown will save the department a significant amount of money, but an exact figure is hard to estimate since the length of the shutdown will be dependent upon the return of Vegas’ visitor volume and increased demands of emergency services.
CCFD is the largest fire department in Nevada with 30 full-time fire stations and 10 volunteer fire stations in rural areas. The department’s full-time staff numbers include 730 paid employees and about 114 rural volunteer firefighters.