HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif.(KIEM)- North Coast Senator Mike McGuire launched critical legislation today to support the health and safety of our firefighters and help make communities become more fire-safe.
Firefighters face a major shortage at the same time that California is facing unprecedented, destructive wildfires each year. The state has made massive progress. Currently, Cal Fire has 72 hundred firefighters actively ready to defend. But the reality is the golden state needs more firefighters.
“Were advancing a modern-day staffing plan to help Cal FIre meet the bleak picture that is the fire forecast for the rest of the state and the decades to come. One thousand one hundred and twenty-four firefighters would be hired immediately just for Cal Fire,” said Senator Mike McGuire.
Cal Fire firefighters are expected to work up to 40 to 60 days in a row in incredibly dangerous and traumatic environments.
Over the last four years, more than 54 thousand calls have been made by firefighters to a state mental health hotline. Cal Fire firefighters have been deployed to some of the most traumatic situations that we have seen in generations.
“So if we hire more firefighters, Cal Fire firefighters won’t need to work as many days because we will have more release staff on hand ready to be deployed quicker,” said Senator McGuire.
The legislation will also mandate a long-term staffing plan for Cal Fire, and this will ensure that the agency can meet the staffing and infrastructure needs.