Follow-up: Seattle fire chief details staffing struggles, response and says public safety changes are needed

  • Source: KOMO-TV ABC 4 Seattle
  • Published: 02/16/2024 12:00 AM

VIDEO/PHOTOS: The Seattle fire chief said his department is feeling the strain of increased calls and crime in the city and has lost people from burnout as a result. In a briefing in front of the Seattle council’s public safety committee, Harold Scoggins said he’s down 125 people from a full staff and cited the increase in overdose calls, encampment fires and vacant structure responses as reasons behind it all. “Firefighters want to know people are listening, paying attention so we can take steps, so we don’t have to go to encampments 12,000, 13,000, 14,000 times a year. We don’t have to respond to 5,000 overdoses in a year,” he told the committee. “It wears on you as an individual.” Scoggins said while he still has a waiting list, it has been tough to train recruits to equal the number of departures over the last few years.


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