Facing criticism from the Mansfield firefighters union, the city announced Tuesday that two fire stations will not be closed at the same time when not enough personnel are available to work.
"Speaking to the mayor, he would prefer to have one maximum closed," said Safety-Service Director Lori Cope, referring to Mayor Tim Theaker.
The city, facing a 20% reduction in revenue due to the pandemic, last week ordered the fire department to eliminate "non-emergency" overtime, which halted the practice of backfilling positions so that at least 19 personnel were on duty across all five stations.
Firefighters and paramedics were routinely paid overtime to fill in for others who were out sick or on vacation, which Theaker has claimed costs the city about $80,000 a month.
Station No. 2 on Brookwood Way has been closed for three days and operated at half capacity on Monday because there had been less than 16 personnel on duty.