VOLUSIA COUNTY —
The firefighters union in Volusia County is accusing county leaders of turning their back on the union and fire safety.
Union leaders said if an agreement isn’t reached, lives could be in danger.
“The safety of the citizens and the visitors to Volusia County could be jeopardized by continual low staffing of the fire department,” said Carl Cusuman, a spokesman for the Volusia County Firefighters Union.
The Volusia County Firefighters Union said their pleas to county leaders about fire safety have been completely ignored.
The union is currently in contract negotiations with the county.
To save money, they’ve proposed what they’re calling a ‘status-quo’ contract, which means no raises for another year.
But it has been 10 weeks and the union said they still haven’t heard back from the county.
“We’ve lost $6 million plus and over 60 firefighters within the last few years. Our responses have gone up, 911 calls to Volusia County Fire Services have gone up,” Cusuman said. “They’ve increased each year for the last few years and our staffing is lower than it was in 2005-2006.”
A fire truck returning from a call had only two firefighters inside, but experts said there should be four working in it at all times.
“We’re running at half-staff. We run some fire stations are lucky enough to have three firefighters on the truck, but the vast majority of the fire stations in Volusia County run with only two firefighters per fire truck. So we’re at half according to the national recommended safety standard.”
Volusia County Community Information Director Dave Byron declined a request for an interview, but issued the following statement:
“We don’t negotiate union contracts through the news media. The county has no response to whatever the union is feeding you.”
via Firefighters union says Volusia County leaders aren’t listening
VOLUSIA COUNTY —