CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The new Fire Station #18 at Ayers and Saratoga responded to its first call Tuesday morning, but it was firefighters from the downtown area who were on the job.
As 3News reported weeks ago, the new fire station was supposed to have an entirely new staff hired upon opening, but that did not happen. Instead, the new station is being staffed by firefighters pulled from the downtown area.
Neighbors in the Coastal Bend have voiced concerns about firefighters being pulled from existing station downtown.
"I mean it's great to have one right by our house but you know, if you ain't got anybody to man it, you're just wasting taxpayer money," Joshua Meyer said.
Meyer lives right behind the new station and said he was aware of the shortage of firefighters in the city but did not know they never hired the necessary 15 firefighters for Fire Station #18.
"I think if they don't have the means to staff it, then they shouldn't have built it," Meyer said.
Residents who live out on North Beach are now concerned for their safety with less personnel serving in their area.
"How are they going to do it when they have a big fire here in North Beach? How are they going to handle it? That's what I would like to know," resident Cynthia Medina said.
A new directive memo from Fire Station #1 said if one of their medical units is in use, both their fire engine and truck will be out of service, and some personnel will only be available for medical calls, not fire calls.
"Ridiculous," Medina said. "Just a waste of taxpayer money."
The Corpus Christi Fire Department is not discussing the issue until City Council brings up the concern in December.
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