Anchorage Fire Chief Speaks on Tender 9 Controversy
Fire department memo contradicted city’s stated reason for apparatus closure
ANCHORAGE - In what some are calling an issue that epitomizes the battle between the city and unions, the controversy surrounding the water truck at the Huffman Fire Station, Tender 9, continues.
This time, the Anchorage Fire Chief is speaking out.
On Friday, Deputy Fire Chief John Drozdowski told CBS 11 News that the water truck was out of commission for several days this year because of a scheduling error.
But over the weekend CBS 11 News received an internal memo that essentially contradicts that statement.
On Tuesday, Fire Chief Chris Bushue said he wanted to clear up any confusion, saying the information in the memo was accurate.
"There was not a scheduling error, it was an explicit direction and it was followed to the letter,” said Bushue.
Bushue said because of budget cuts, he ordered the tender to be put out of service when overtime was needed to operate it.
However, Chief Bushue said the mayor has now ordered Tender 9 to remain open -- for now.
“Keeping in mind that if we don't have any injuries, if our workforce remains healthy, if we don't lose the number of people we traditionally lose every year, I could say I could keep Tender 9 open and not go over budget -- but that is that's a very big gamble,” said Bushue.