Bryan Fire Department to Increase Manpower

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A vote from Bryan's city council last night means the city's fire department will be increasing its manpower over the next several years.
And it's something the fire chief says will make a huge difference in their ability to keep people and their property safe.
Change is in the horizon for the Bryan Fire Department.

"A goal for many fire departments across the country is to strive for a minimum of four firefighters on each truck," said Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor.

After more than a year of discussion amongst city leaders, the Bryan Fire Department will begin adding more manpower.

Thirty-three employees will be hired on to the Bryan Fire Department by 2023; and city leaders say the cost will be $2-million.

"With four man staffing we'll have two firefighters and one lieutenant inside of a structure with one operator at the pump handle," said Bryan Firefighter Matt Deemer. "You'll have more people to look after you when you get on the field."

The National Fire Protection Agency requires a minimum of 15 firefighters on an active fire scene.

Matt Deemer has been with the Bryan Fire Department for five years and says they're barely meeting the minimum standard with 16.

"With another person on scene you'll have two people who can flake the hose, get the fan, be able to get a bigger picture of the whole fire and do it quicker," said Deemer. "Then when you have the second engine come in, you'll get the water supply to the scene much quicker."

"The staffing is a goal we've been working on and the city backed us up so we're just going to continue to grow the department and again make a great department even better," McGregor added.

Increasing manpower overall will have a tremendous impact on safety -- especially for the brothers of the Bryan Fire Department who risk their lives to protect the community.

Major cities including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin have implemented the four-man staffing. The midsized cities of Galveston and Baytown also have similar staffing.