Newport Fire Chief William Darin says the department made nearly 5,000 runs in 2018; that includes fire and medical responses.
Darin says less than 1 percent of those are for big structural fires. Newport Fire Union President Jake Silvati says the department is understaffed.
"We feel that it's not a matter of if something bad happens, it's a matter of when something that happens and we're very concerned about that or concerned about the safety of the citizens and the firefighters," Silvati said.
Silvati is pushing the city to staff 12 firefighters instead of the 11 it has been running. He says that's enough to fully staff two fire trucks and two ambulances.
City Manager Tom Fromme says Newport does not have the money for another firefighter and the budget is too tight already.