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Taylor Cuts 17 Firefighters Amid Budget Problems

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TAYLOR (WWJ/AP) – Seventeen firefighters in Taylor are losing their jobs as a private company takes over emergency medical services for the area.

The firefighters were notified Tuesday that they’ll be out of a job Friday when HealthLink takes over the services. The move is expected to save the city about $1 million to $2 million annually.

Mayor Jeffery Lamarand told the Detroit Free Press that 85 percent of the fire department’s 8,000 annual calls are for medical emergencies.

After Friday, there will be 24 firefighters left in Taylor. In their new role, they won’t handle transport, but will back up HealthLink if they have a delayed response. Firefighters still will respond to fires and accidents.

Fire Chief Bob Tompos said he’s concerned that the department’s ability to effectively fight fires will be diminished by staffing.

The cut backs aren’t the first the department has seen recently. Last summer, 28 firefighters and EMT’s were laid off and in October, the city closed two of its three fire stations.

The 24-square mile city of Taylor has approximately 63,131 residents.

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