Two of the engines previously served in Scarborough, as well as one in Etobicoke. The fourth engine will be decommissioned from a station on Runnymede Road near Bloor Street, which is closing permanently.
The loss of the trucks — which are being taken out of service due to cuts in the city’s 2014 budget — will lead to longer response times in some neighbourhoods, according to Frank Ramagnano of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association.
Ramagnano says that a typical commercial or residential blaze can double in size as little as three minutes, so every second firefighters are on the scene counts.
“If you were relying on that fire truck you’ll have to wait one or two more minutes for another truck to respond,” he said.
“The more people you have on scene, the sooner they’re on scene, the more capable you are to fight that fire.”
Since amalgamation in 1998, Toronto has added about 2,000 new buildings to its cityscape and additional 300,000 people are being served by Toronto Fire Services, but the fire department has had to cope with a series of cuts, Ramagnano says.
Approximately 84 firefighters will be affected by the changes, but none are expected to lose their jobs. They will likely be reassigned to positions left vacant after about 70 senior firefighters retired in the first three months of 2014.