BUDGET DECISIONS: An effort to cut Des Moines’ budget could mean 10 city workers lose their jobs, including some fire medics

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The Des Moines city council meets Monday night to discuss bridging a $7 million budget gap over the next two years and part of the plan includes eliminating 10 jobs, some affecting the fire department.

Firefighters say the cuts could affect your safety.

“It`s extremely frightening. Not only is it a reduction in services to the citizens it also puts our lives in bigger danger we have less people trying to do the same amount of work, and even more in these situations,” says Bob Saurez with the Des Moines Fire Department.

To cut costs, the city is proposing getting rid of the ambulance they added last year, and instead training firefighters in first aid.

However, fire engines, cannot take patients to the hospital and some firefighters say it could take longer for an ambulance to get to an emergency.

Mayor Frank Cownie says he worked with Des Moines’ fire chief on a plan that does not endanger any Des Moines residents. He says paramedics will be at your door just as fast as before.

“The way they plan to disperse them looks like we`re not gonna lose any emergency time in terms of getting to the scene and hopefully saving lives,” says Cownie.

Council members will vote Monday night on a measure that would eliminate 32 unfilled positions, and cut the jobs of 10 employees. Along with two senior fire medics, four parks and rec and four public works jobs are on the line.

City leaders are also proposing raising property taxes by about $20 a year on average.


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