Anchorage cuts fire protection to save cash

Posted: Sunday, February 22, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's budget woes are affecting the municipal fire department.

The Anchorage Fire Department closed a station Friday to trim overtime costs. The department also kept two other fire engines out of service.

City officials said they have a $17 million shortfall tied to national economy problems.

Thirteen people on Friday were sick, on vacation or on military leave. Fire department managers said they could not afford to call in off-duty personnel and pay the overtime.

Fire department officials said overtime is a huge expense and the only area in which the department can make a big cut.

Several other departments are eliminating positions or simply not filling vacant positions.

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