Reserve firefighters could be headed for chopping block |

Reserve firefighters could be headed for chopping block

William Ferchland, Tribune staff writer

One of the largest groups of reserve firefighters for South Lake Tahoe is threatened with losing its financing.

Mike Chandler, fire chief for the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, has proposed to suspend the program, which cost $25,000 last year.

The money is spent on training, equipment and medical testing. The suggestion was Chandler’s effort to trim money from the fire department to help the financially struggling city become solvent for this fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. The City Council will take up the matter Tuesday.

The chief believes the program could get by for a year without the money.

“If funding stays cut, we’ll have a dwindling program that will eventually extinguish itself,” he said. “I firmly believe we’re OK for this year, but next fiscal year we’ll have to reinstate the funding.”

There are 20 reserve firefighters who complement a force of 41 firefighters, including Chandler. All reservists have pagers, are required to pull one 24-hour shift a month and have the same equipment as full-time firefighters.

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