Tulsa Firefighters Fear Some Services Will Suffer

Monday, July 13th 2009, 6:26 pm
By: News On 6

News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa firefighters are speaking out about the sacrifices they're forced to make because of our economy in crisis.

Over the weekend, the firefighters union approved a new contract that includes a mandatory furlough period.

The Tulsa Firefighters Union said Monday they'll cover those furlough days with vacation days, so their level of service will stay the same.

Between wage and benefits cuts, firefighters will lose about 4% of their annual salary.

That will save the city a little more than $3 million.

7/12/2009  Related Story: Tulsa Firefighters Respond To Furlough Days

As part of the city's plan to save money, some fire stations are replacing engines with squad trucks that have the latest medical technology.

The city says 70% of TFD runs are for medical calls. The union says those squad trucks may be cost-efficient, but will put firefighters in a difficult spot.

"For our firefighters to respond to a scene, not have everything that they need to be able to do their job and have to sit and wait for other people to arrive before they can perform their duties," said Chad Miller, Local 176 Vice President.

Firefighters say some of their services will suffer, including code enforcement, arson investigation and public education.