Atlanta fire commanders dealing with staff, equipment shortage

Fire commanders in the city of Atlanta juggled their staffing and equipment in an attempt to provide minimal coverage over the weekend. 

And the shifting continued into late Monday. 

"I am being told that at least 11 apparatus are down throughout the city," said Councilman Dustin Hillis, the vice-chairman of the council public safety panel. 

The equipment problems, on top of a 25% personnel vacancy rate, create a severe crunch when both issues are present. 

In northwest Atlanta on Monday afternoon, not a single firefighter was inside Station No. 26. It is located on Moore's Mill Road. 

Their equipment — an engine and a ladder truck — was not available. 

The eight firefighters, what is called for with a double company, apparently had been shifted elsewhere. The fire department declined to provide Fox 5 with specifics about the weekend resources. 

One senior citizen shook her head when told Station No. 26 had temporarily closed. She used to live in a facility that is no more than 100 yards from the closed station. She noted that during the two years she stayed there, she knows of two small fires and numerous health calls that that firehouse 26 firefighters responded to. 

A fire department spokesperson said commanders during the weekend were able to shift resources around to provide "adequate" coverage for all residences and businesses throughout Atlanta. 

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