TAYLOR (WWJ) – The city of Taylor issuing lay-off notices to more than a dozen firefighters and paramedics. WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne reports 19 emergency workers received pink slips, Thursday. Their last day on the job will be June 30.
Bryan Schwesing, vice president of the Taylor Professional Fire Fighters Union Local 1252 called the layoffs “life-threatening.”
“To issue these pink slips is reckless and jeopardizes the safety of the community. These cuts will have a significant impact on the services that we are able to provide in both fire and medical emergencies,” Schwesing said, who is a firefighter and paramedic, himself.
Schwesing is putting the blame on Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand.
“We came to the city a year ago, offering concessions, wages, benefit reductions… and he’s continuing to refuse our proposals. He’s trying to balance the budget with layoffs and dangerous, in my opinion, dangerous cuts in services to the citizens,” Schwesing said.
Schwesing said that after July 1, firefighters in Taylor will only be able to provide basic life saving procedures on site, but then a private ambulance service will have to be called to provide transportation for the patient to the hospital.
He said he hopes the union and the city can sit down and talk about the financial problems at the heart of the layoffs.
“Citizens in Taylor and across the state have voted and voiced their opinion that firefighters/paramedics and police officer positions should not be eliminated and that the safety of the public needs to be top priority,” said Schwesing.
“We hope to have the opportunity to work with city officials to negotiate a fair agreement for both parties that will avert these layoffs,” he said.
Earlier this month, Taylor laid off nine police officers, also due to the city’s extreme budget crunch.
Mayor Lamarand was unavailable for comment.