Sycamore Twp. firefighters don't show up for work

SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Just hours after Sycamore Township trustees unanimously voted to cut 14 full time and 70 part time firefighters, a few firefighters decided not to show up to work Thursday morning.

The fire department was short a total of six firefighters causing one of the township's fire stations to be shut down for hours.

Three of those firefighters were scheduled off, but three firefighters called in sick.

"I can not tell you why or why not they called off, it's all about the safety of the residents of Sycamore Township and obviously having all of the manning there that we have is what we need," said Kelby Thoreson, President of the Sycamore Professional Firefighters Local 3907. "We don't condone the brownouts and we don't condone people calling off sick."

Each day the township staffs 12 firefighters between two fire stations, Stations 92 and 93. Seven firefighters operate from Station 92 and five from 93, but on Thursday morning Station 93 had no one for two hours.

"It's sad for the citizens that it has come to this, that for whatever reason people don't want to come to work there because of what the township has done, which is blatant disrespect for these workers," said Jon Harvey, Ohio Professional Firefighters 4th District Vice President.

Township officials say at 9 a.m. three full time firefighters came in to operate Station 93 and assisted with a fire in Sharonville.

"Moving forward, township officials say they are working on a contingency plan to prepare for any other unexpected staffing problems.

Sycamore Township Trustee President Tom Weidman said, "I'm not concerned, the firefighters of Sycamore will do the right thing. We are working on a contingency plan with the chief and don't expect having a problem filling those spots if needed. We will be staffed at a normal level."