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San Marcos Fire Department's Resources Drained
The San Marcos Fire Department admits to having limited resources and at times needs assistance from other counties.
Right now the department is responsible for serving nearly 50,000 people in the city limits, along with 34,500 students who attend Texas State University.
"The difficult part is that the university lies in the center of town and that kind of dissects our city. It makes us have stations all around town to be able to respond to all sides of it," said assistant Chief Len Nored.
He tells us their annual budget is $6.4 million, which employs 60 firefighters. But on an average shift only 20 are working.
We're told that in 2012 there were more than 3,400 calls. Most from the university campus were medical.
Nored says fires are what drain their resources.
"We typically send all five stations to a structure fire. So just to cover the city a lot of times we will call in another department just to cover a station or two," he said.
The fire departments that assist include Hays County and New Braunfels. Typically they are called out 10 times a year and each department pays for its own resources.
The lack of firefighters has some Texas State students concerned.
"Especially being on a college campus, that's something parents would want to know there kids are going to be protected," said student Alyssa Hill.
Student Shane Clavette, "Its not like being short staffed at Arby's or Subway. These are people's lives at stake."
We reached out to city officials, who say they are reviewing the budget next month.
In the meantime, San Marcos firefighters will work with what they have.
By Christie Post