Peoria Firefighters Union 50 is asking the city council to reconsider reductions proposed for the 2019 budget.
The city manager proposes decommissioning two machines, cutting 22 firefighters and closing Fire Station 8. There’s also a promise to set aside $2.5 million dollars for a new consolidated southside fire station, and close Fire Station 4.
Standing in front of Fire Station 8, Union President Ryan Brady says the consolidated station would be great if the land was already purchased.
“But that’s a year of two down the road and in the meantime if this fire house that’s behind me is to be closed, the people further down in the south end are going to have to wait longer response times. Our firefighters are going to have to wait longer for their back-up in any type of active incident,” says Brady
Brady says the reduction of 22 firefighters would hinder the department and decrease diversity. He says the last two classes of firefighter cadets are some of the most diverse in the department’s history.
The Peoria City Council is expected to approve next year’s budget in the next 40 days.