Fire District 1 shuffles staffing in money-saving move

EVERETT — Snohomish County Fire District 1 plans staff changes at some fire stations.

Four battalion chiefs will be returned to the rank of captain. That means reduced pay, district spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said Monday.

The changes are part of the district’s ongoing efforts to reduce spending and avoid further layoffs, she said.

In recent years, the district had administrative layoffs and eliminated vacant positions, Hynes said. There are no plans to replace retiring firefighters in 2013.

Most of the crews work 24-hour shifts, Hynes said. Eight firefighters soon will begin working 10-hour shifts as part of the new staffing model.

Additional resources will be devoted to emergency medical services, which account for more 911 calls than those where crews are sent to fight smoke and flames.

The changes don’t affect staffing levels in cities that contract with the district for fire protection service, Hynes said.

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