Boynton fire chief: Station 1 is understaffed, need $400,000 to fix it

The Boynton Beach Fire Station No. 1 in Boynton Beach, Florida on December 28, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Boynton Beach Fire Station No. 1 in Boynton Beach, Florida on December 28, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

A fire station in Boynton Beach has been staffed below the minimal level, and city officials need to find more than $400,000 in this year’s budget to bring staffing up to standards.

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Regulations require three people be sent out per truck when responding to calls. Fire Station 1 at City Hall on Boynton Beach Boulevard has only two available per truck.  To make up for that, the city has been sending out a second truck with two people so they can have four people at the scene.

Commissioner Joe Casello brought this up Monday at the city’s first day of budget workshops. Workshops continue through at least Tuesday afternoon.

Casello said the extra firefighters are being put in danger, and sending out extra equipment is increasing “wear and tear.”

He recommended a firefighter be paid overtime to bring the count up to three per truck.

However, it would be more cost effective to actually hire someone, Fire Chief Glenn Joseph said Tuesday. He said it would be about $417,501 per year to fully manage Station 1 and about $712,976 per year to pay for overtime.

A decision on how to come up with the money is expected to be made later Tuesday. 

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