Smyrna Fire Chief Raises Concerns Over Proposed Cuts - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Smyrna Fire Chief Raises Concerns Over Proposed Cuts

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by Jason Lamb

SMYRNA, Tenn. -- Smyrna Fire Chief Bill Culvertson is raising concerns over recommendations from a consulting group to shut down one of the cities two service companies, combining it with the other. 

Service companies usually respond to car accidents and extrications, and are different than the city's five fire stations.

The consultant group says call volumes show the town doesn't need both service companies.

"I guess my concern would be we have been operating out of two, and I worry about response time," Culvertson said.

The consulting group looked at years of call out data to come up with 38 recommendations.  Culvertson has a month and a half to put a plan for them in place.

The study also said the town doesn't need to fill 11 currently vacant firefighter positions.

Town manager Mark O'Neal says the public won't see a reduction in service level or an increase in response time as a result of the proposed changes.

"Based on these recommendations (from the consulting group) and based on what we're seeing in that analysis, I feel confident we can provide the same level of service," O'Neal said.

Culvertson says he supports the study and he'll go along with the recommendations, including consolidating the service companies -- but he'll be watching.

"If there is a problem, or I feel like there's a problem, I'll be the first to go back to Mr. O'Neal, and I'm sure the council would consider anything we take to them," Culvertson said.

The Smyrna Police Department conducted a similar study, and they will hear the results of their study on Thursday night.

The town manager says the combined cost of both the fire department and police department studies was $75,000.

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