ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says there’s no extra money that can be squeezed out of the fire department to hire more police.

“You look at our trucks, we’ve tried to get a bond issue passed,” says Jenkerson. “Each year we have to become more efficient, because of some of the funding issues.”

KMOX has obtained a 2014 outside study on the fire department that found an “excess capacity” in the fire-fighting resources. It recommended reducing the number of fire houses from 30 to 17. The number of firefighters was also cut by attribution to 120 per shift or a total of 360.

“When I came on the job in 1979, I believe at that time we had approximately 1500 firefighters. I’m down to 600 right now,” says Jenkerson. “We change with the times, we’ve made our job more efficient.”

The study also shows about 74 percent of the calls for service were for medical emergencies and not fires.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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