Tenn. fire dept. wants to add 67 more staff members

Nashville Fire Department officials voiced their concerns and said they “actually deal with having shortfalls” due to low staff numbers

By EMS1 Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A fire department is requesting 67 more firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers to better extinguish blazes and save lives.

News Channel 5 reported that Nashville Fire Department Chief William Swann voiced his concerns about the low staff numbers, saying the department is dealing with “shortfalls.”

"We're asking for 67 more firefighters in our fire suppression division. We actually deal with having shortfalls because of our staffing," Chief Swann said.

Swann added that his goal was to save lives and extinguish fires faster, but the department needs more firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers to accomplish that.

"We are currently staffing three persons per piece of equipment and when an employee takes off for any reason, we have to backfill with overtime," Swann said.

National standards say that fire trucks should be staffed with four people, not three, and Swann said the department is currently using more vehicles on scenes just to have enough manpower.

"We won't have to run as many vehicles as we have been just because we have a staffing problem," he said.

Chief Swann requested a $9.5 million budget, which costs about $100,000 less than last year, even with the extra request.

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