VIRGINIA BEACH -- Firefighters in Virginia Beach are asking for an extra firefighter at Station 19 in Centerville, where they say crews currently working there don't have enough manpower to adequately fight fires.
The station's territory covers a massive expanse of land, stretching from Kempsville Road to Green Run at Princess Anne all the way down to the Chesapeake line.
According to the Virginia Beach Fire Department's website, the station is the fourth busiest in the city.
Despite its size and workload, though, only three firefighters are assigned to the station each shift.
Bill Bailey, president of the Virginia Beach Firefighter's Association, said the small staff puts crews at a disadvantage when they arrive at fires.
Crews at Station 19 were first on scene at two fatal fires in the past year. Two other firefighters have suffered burns.
"It's like taking a Navy ship to sea with three quarters of the crew," Bailey said.
Some crews across the city have four-person trucks.
Now, the fire chief is asking council members to add a fourth person to Station 19, too.
A city spokesman said there is not currently money in the FY2015 budget for an extra firefighter at the station but council members could vote to add it in the budget.
City Councilman Bob Dyer, whose Centerville district includes Station 19, said he supports adding money to the budget for the extra slot and thinks other council members will too.
"It's on our radar," Dyer said. "We've got the budgets coming up and everything and I'm sure council is going to make this a high priority."