SURREY (NEWS 1130) — North Surrey has been left without adequate emergency services Wednesday night according to frontline firefighters.
Surrey’s Fire Fighters Association Local 1271 says it is sounding the alarm over current budget constraints over the fact four trucks are out-of-service and staffing is at the same level as in 1990.
“Surrey deserves better,” a tweet from the department reads.
We are Sounding the Alarm. In the middle of a Provincial state of emergency due to budget constraints, tonight March 25th 2020, we will have four trucks out of service in North Surrey. This leaves us with less Fire Fighters on duty than there were in 1990. Surrey deserves better. pic.twitter.com/CIOYjtAgPy
— Surrey Fire Fighters (@Local1271) March 25, 2020
However, Surrey Fire Chief Larry Thomas admits four trucks are out of service, but he says it has nothing to do with budgets.
He says more people have been taking sick days, or have been in travel isolation over the last few days.
“We have a plan in place to ensure our response is maintained by adjusting our service levels,” he says. “Part of that process is ensuring our staff don’t get burnt out.”
He says the department is meeting all response requests, and describes the situation as a ‘temporary anomaly’.
The outrage comes as some community members question the wisdom of spending money on transitioning to a City police force in Surrey.
B.C.’s public safety minister has given Surrey’s police transition final approval for the transition from RCMP.
Surrey’s Mayor Doug McCallum said the city aims to have its new police force up and running by April of 2021.