NAPLES, Fla. - The Naples Fire Department will not get additional man power. City Council members voted to keep the fire department staffed just the way it is.
WINK News first brought you this story last month when the fire chief sent out an SOS for more firefighters.
Fire Chief Stephen McInerny provided four options to the city council ranging from not making any changes to needing more than $2 million a year. That would include more firefighters and have a fire station #24, on the east end of the city, fully operation.
The council voted 4 - 3 in favor of keeping its status quo.
Councilman Sam Saad said, "Despite what some people say the fire department is adequately staffed and provides some of the best response times in the area."
But Chief McInerny countered, "How long we can continue to do that without dropping the ball is anyones guess." He said, "We're trying to provide a better level of service, the city has grown dramatically since 1991, but we're still operating at the same staffing levels."
Chief McInerny said his department will continue to provide the best level of service with the staff he has. But at some point this issue will need to be revisited because the city continues to grow.
"They're building some of the largest homes in the United States, we're bringing on 1,000 different units; apartment buildings, single family homes, commercial projects. So over time it's just going to get busier and busier and we're just trying to serve that same city geographic's based on staffing that we had in 1991," Chief McInerny said.
Councilman Saad said until he sees a master plan, he will continue to oppose bringing on additional man power when it comes to public safety.
"Look at the risk, analyze the risk and make the best economic decision to keep our community safe, to provide the level of service demanded by the taxpayers at the lowest possible costs and that's what I'm trying to do," Councilman Saad said.