As the City of Reno looks for ways to make ends meet they are asking many employees to take salary cuts to avoid layoffs. At a meeting this week, the Reno City Council told the fire department it would have to accept a 2.1% wage cut or an entire fire station would be cut.
While both parties are still at the bargaining table, the possibility has some people wondering if fewer fire stations will drive up the cost of their insurance. That’s because a home’s proximity to fire protection is one of the factors used in determining an area’s “Protection Class” which in turn sets insurance rates.
Reno Council Member, Pierre Hascheff says the city has looked at that possibility. He says because a number of criteria are included in determining risk, if the closure of a station did effect homeowner’s insurance rates those changes not be significant or immediate.
In addition, he says the closure of a station would likely be temporary and services would be returned to normal before the next Protection Class evaluation was done. “On the flip side,” he says “as we add more fire fighters, which we’ve done almost every year… and as we open up more stations, which we’ve done consistently and frequently… people don’t see their insurance rates go down.”
The City of Reno is pushing union representatives for fire fighters to come to a decision as soon as possible. So far though, a vote for members of the International Association of Firefighters Local 731 has not been scheduled.