Middletown City Council approves firefighter layoffs

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - The Middletown City Council has voted to approve the layoffs of 9 local firefighters during a Tuesday night meeting.

City council voted 4-3 to approve the layoffs.

Along with the layoffs, Middletown Fire Station #84 will be shut down.

"All of city council lives in the city. We recognize the importance of public safety, we've made it a priority," said Mayor Larry Mulligan. "It's really been reserved for the very last resort and unfortunately we've reached that point. We need to make these cuts."

Many Middletown residents believe the city could save firefighters by spending money differently.

"I am very concerned, because if there is a couple of emergencies, I think three at the most, someone is going to die, or it's going to have a bad effect," said John Soppanish, Middletown resident.

"Decisions like this are overturned by disasters, whether it be death or destruction or whatever. Hopefully that doesn't happen, " said Jon Harvey. "Hopefully we can come to an agreement."

Still on the table, the city has proposed up to a nine percent pay cut to union firefighters in Middletown. Both sides are still negotiating those possible concessions, and Mayor Larry Mulligan says those pay cuts could save jobs.

"I think we need to continue to explore different models with the fire union, with city administration," said Mulligan. "Look at what we can deliver and what we can pay for."

According to a statement sent out by the Middletown Firefighters Union, the union "will continue to look for solutions and reach out to city officials to try and find any way to avoid these cuts."

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