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News to Know for June 7: Richmond Fire vacancies; Gun buyback; School safety

The union that represents Richmond firefighters says they are seeing severe staffing shortages....
The union that represents Richmond firefighters says they are seeing severe staffing shortages. It’s now to the point that some fear it could affect your safety this summer.(CBS)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:07 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Firefighters Union is sounding the alarm over staffing shortages and how it could impact your safety. Let’s dive into these vacancies and our other top headlines.

RFD Is Shortstaffed

The union that represents Richmond firefighters says they are seeing severe staffing shortages. It’s now to the point that some fear it could affect your safety this summer.

In a letter, the union claims they are short almost 50 positions, and because of the shortage, some firefighters are having to pull double duty - working more than 60 hours a week.

Another concern is this summer when those who have been working overtime finally take a vacation, which could add on to the shortage.

Councilwoman Reva Trammell, who is chair of the public safety committee, says she is disappointed over what’s going on.

“It should be a wake-up call to all of us council members because I’m going to tell you right now the citizens are getting tired as hell seeing what is going on,” Trammell said.

Next year’s city budget calls for a pay increase for city firefighters between 10 and 15 percent, but there are concerns over how long it could take to hire fresh firefighters.

The Richmond Professional Firefighter Association is asking the city to look at hiring firefighters with experience from other parts of the state.

Body Recovered In James River

The week-long recovery effort to find missing 28-year-old Sarah Erway came to a heartbreaking end after a body was reported floating in the James River on Monday.

The Medical Examiner will make the final id, but officials say they’re confident it is Erway.

She and 23-year-old Lauren Winstead went missing during a river accident on Memorial Day.

Richmond Advances Gun Buyback Program

Richmond city leaders will launch a gun buyback program this summer with half a million in funding.

The city - on the heels of rising gun violence is now taking a major step toward getting guns off the streets.

The gun buyback program is set to launch later this summer with half a million dollars in funding. The Robby Publeteh Foundation will lead the effort.

The California-based group says its collected more than 1,300 guns from American streets.

Earlier this year, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney set aside $1.5 million to tackle gun violence prevention in the city.

Gov. Youngkin Wants SRO In Every VA School

In a push for school safety, Governor Glenn Youngkin says he has a goal to make sure every school in the Commonwealth has a school resource officer on the grounds.

”We need to make sure that schools have the resources to keep our children safe -- as I said, every parent should be confident when they send that child to school that the child will come home just as safe as when they left,” Gov. Youngkin said.

Last week, state lawmakers approved the budget which would direct $45 million towards putting police officers in schools.

Partly Sunny Day

Today will be a little more humid with a slight chance for an afternoon shower, but our rain chances increase for Wednesday.

Wednesday will be partly sunny with lows in the low 60s, and highs in the mid-80s.

Final Thought

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” --- Jack Canfield

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