Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Rick Perry's Texas, Firefighters Forced To Pay For Gear, Engine Fuel

In Rick Perry's Texas, Firefighters Forced To Pay For Gear, Engine Fuel:

In Texas, firefighters aren't just battling the wild fires raging around Austin and Houston. The state's first responders have also had to deal with budget cuts affecting everything from fuel purchases to hoses and air tanks.

In some cases, fire officials say, firefighters have had to pay out of pocket for basic necessities like proper protective gear and fuel to get them to the scene. One fire department that battled the blazes in Bastrop County had to pay for a hose, recalledBastrop City Fire Chief Henry Perry, speaking to The Huffington Post during a break from working the wild fires.

Earlier this week, HuffPost reported that Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP front-runner for president, had signed off on millions in firefighting cuts as part of the state's most recent budget legislation. The Texas Forest Service's funding has gone from $117.7 million in the 2010-2011 budget years to $83 million in the 2012-2013 budget years.

Severe cuts have also hit assistance grants.

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