By Dan Bewley, The News On 6
SAPULPA, OK -- Sapulpa firefighters are putting the squeeze on city leaders. They want the city to reconsider letting go of four firefighters and to keep all the fire stations open.
"So far the public support... it's been great," said Chad Turner, who is a firefighter.
Dozens of Sapulpa firefighters and their friends and families braved the 100 degree temperatures Saturday with a message for Sapulpa city leaders.
"Just reconsider and try to find some other way to keep our firemen and keep our safety," said Kindra James, who is a firefighter's girlfriend.
Nearly two weeks ago, the city told the firefighter's union four firefighters would lose their jobs and a station might be closed. The union has already made $390,000 in concessions, but the city says it needs another $110,000.
"It's devastating knowing that the citizens are now going to be punished for something that isn't really their fault at all," said James.
All week long they've been collecting signatures. The tally so far is pushing 4,000 Sapulpans who want the city to keep the fire department at full staff.
"We're staying real positive," said Chase Johnson, who is a firefighter.
Johnson is one of the firefighters who may be without a job in a month. He hopes this show of support will spur the city and union to reach a deal.
"I feel like if the city council realizes that the people of the city of Sapulpa don't want this to happen, I really feel like they'll have to figure something else out," said Johnson.
The city also gave notice to five police officers, but the FOP agreed to $330,000 in concessions and the notices were recalled.
The firefighters hope that means the city is willing to negotiate.
"Our guys are fighting for us real hard and they're really making a difference. We're pretty positive about it. We really think everything's going to be okay," said Johnson.
The signatures and the petition will be presented to the city council Monday night at 7:00. The firefighters are asking city residents to go and show their support.