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Tag: Tacoma Fire Department


Tacoma: Talks to restore fire cuts fail, cutbacks to three stations move forward

More than a month of labor talks aiming to avert some budget cuts targeted for Tacoma’s Fire Department have failed, making divisive cutbacks approved for three city fire stations a reality.

“Unfortunately, no mutually agreeable solution came forth,” Tacoma Fire Chief Jim Duggan said Tuesday. “The talks are done.”

Top officials for Tacoma Fire Union Local 31 said Tuesday their union made two offers to the city to offset up to $1 million in approved cuts to city fire service.  But the city rejected each without explanation or a counter-offer, they said.

“They just told us no,” union president Ryan

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Tacoma: Fire Department wins $7.7 million grant, saving 37 firefighter jobs and closing part of budget gap

Tacoma’s fire department has won a $7.7 million federal grant that will save 37 firefighter jobs and solve a big part of an increasingly urgent city budget shortfall, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office announced Thursday.

“This is a very competitive grant process, so the significant amount of this award really shows the need,” said Scott Whiteaker, a spokesman for Cantwell. “The loss of these 37 firefighters would have equated to losing at least three of the city’s fire engine companies.”

Acceptance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant award also ensures no firefighter in Tacoma can be laid off for

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Tacoma Fire Department set to re-bid controversial ambulance contract

Tacoma fire officials said today they’ll be ready to re-issue a formal solicitation for private ambulance services later this month, more than seven months after the City Council tossed out a tentative bid recommendation to award the contract to a new vendor.

But even after working for months to ensure the new bidding process will be clear, fire officials warned that further controversy may be unavoidable when the ambulance contract is ultimately awarded this summer.

“Based on our experience, an appeal is likely,” Tacoma Fire Medical Services Officer Roger Edington told the council today.

Re-bidding the ambulance contract comes after the council voted 5 to 4 in October to disregard a selection panel’s recommendation to award the city’s private ambulance services to American Medical Response Ambulance Service of Greenwood Village, Colo.   The council majority agreed with an appeal from the runner-up bidder, Everett-based Rural Metro of Greater Seattle, that the city’s solicitation wasn’t clear about city assessment fees for dispatch services.

Rural Metro, which has held the contract to provide basic life support emergency services and transport for the Tacoma Fire Department since 2004 (TFD handles advanced life support services and transport on its own), contended that that part of the bid scoring was confusing.

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