Local fire chief said department committed to avoiding need for - WNEM TV 5

Local fire chief said department committed to avoiding need for financial assistance by 2017

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Wednesday was a great day for Brandon Hausbeck and 12 other Saginaw firefighters who were in danger of losing their jobs.

But thanks to a $2 million federal grant, they get to stay on the job, for at least two more years.

"I was very stressed out," Hausbeck said. "You know you couple that with the job that we have fighting fires. It's a very stressful job. You know your lives and your co-workers lives and the citizens lives depend on the actions that we take here."

But what happens after the money from this grant runs out in two years? What can the city do to maintain its fire department without depending on federal money to bail it out? Fire Chief Chris Vanloo had some answers.

"We have plans in place here. We continue to explore all options," Vanloo said. "At the end of the day we're dealing with limited resources, city funding. We hope that that will improve in sometime."

Vanloo said making the fire department more efficient is a work in progress, in which they’ve had some success.

"You know we've done a lot of work over the last two years with this current grant. We've had significant savings in overtime just by changing certain things we do in our operation," Vanloo said.

Vanloo would not go into the specifics of what changes his department has made, but he said they have two more years to tweak some things in the hopes of avoiding the need for federal help in 2017.

Meanwhile, despite the city's financial woes Hausbeck tells us there's no place he'd rather be fighting fires.

"I love working here. You know this is my hometown. This is where I want to work," Hausbeck said. "These are the people that I want to serve. And I feel like I’m doing a service here helping people that really need it."

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