How do you fight a fiscal deficit? With fire …


Looks like West Covina will be $1.1 million richer over the next two years thanks to Fire Department employees who agreed to defer their raises.

Ben Baeder reported earlier this week that the Fire Fighters Association’s and Fire Management Association have opted against a 5-percent raise they were supposed to receive beginning in January to help with the city’s budget deficit.

Now, they’ll get half of that proposed raise in July 2011 and the other half in January 2012.

All Fire Department employees will also get 36 hours of vacation time.

The city’s police union agreed to a similar deal in July, which saved West Covina $1.8 million.

West Covina was looking at a $10 million deficit for the 2009-10 fiscal year, but the gap has narrowed due to concessions from employees and other cuts.