BELLEVUE, Wis. (WFRV) — The Bellevue Fire Department will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week starting in 2020.
The Village Board of Trustees approved a three-year contract with Bellevue Firefighters from IAFF Local 141 to allow this staffing, changing it from the current staffing structure of Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fire department says the staffing shift will go into effect on January 1 and does not increase the Village budget due to the gradual reduction of some positions within the department.
“We are grateful that the Village Board prioritizes public safety and we look forward to serving the public in the coming years,” says Bellevue Fire Chief Jack Mlnarik.
A recently completed staffing analysis by the Village showed that about half of all calls for fire and rescue occurred during non-staffed hours. This meant fire crews had to respond from home to the fire station, which causes a delayed response and no guarantee of a full crew response.
The department says the new 24/7 staffing structure is expected to result in around the clock response times of about five and a half minutes compared to the approximate 14 minute average response time during unstaffed hours.