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FIRE DISTRICT CUTS SHIFT DUE TO BUDGET SHORTFALL

SHARE FIRE DISTRICT CUTS SHIFT DUE TO BUDGET SHORTFALL

Davis County's largest fire district, facing a $43,000 budget shortfall, cut a firefighter shift from its headquarter station Wednesday.

Part-time employees and some elected officials are worried the move could hurt response time and effec-tive-ness. But South Davis Fire Chief John Speed said the shift, previously worked by experienced part-time employees, will be covered by a college student who is fully certified.The district's board of directors froze all spending last week after learning from Speed that this year's budget is short $43,000.

Centerville City Councilwoman Francine Giani said she worries the loss of an experienced employee on the shift could affect public safety. "It doesn't make sense to me to potentially risk people's lives by giving up an experienced firefighter to save money," she said.

Board chairman Carl Johnson said Wednesday he approved the change but refused to discuss his reasoning.

The district provides protection for 60,000 residents in Centerville, North Salt Lake, Woods Cross, West Bountiful and parts of unincorporated Davis County. It also has primary responsibility for the county's heaviest industrial base and busiest section of I-15.

The board will meet Friday at 7 a.m. at Woods Cross City Hall to discuss the college student program and other possible shift changes.