For Immediate Release
Contact: Robin Chitwood
April 27, 2012
Station Closings will Compromise Public Safety
Shameless Salem bureaucrats blame firefighters for cuts
Salem– Salem Firefighters Local 314 urged the fire chief and city manager to reverse their dangerous decision to close two fire stations.
“Closing fire stations is no way to protect those who live and work in Salem. This reckless decision will put residents citywide – not just people in West Salem and North East Salem – in grave danger because it will take firefighters substantially longer to respond in an emergency and spread our public safety resources dangerously thin,” Local 314 President Robin Chitwood said.
Our fire chief and city manager have falsely claimed that firefighters are responsible for the decision to close stations because firefighters haven’t negotiated over proposed cuts. But the city ignored budget-cutting alternatives from firefighters that would save money and keep all stations open.
“There are ways to cut costs and keep fire stations open, and we have proposed alternatives, but the city has failed to do the responsible thing and work with us to preserve public safety. By closing two fire stations, the bureaucrats have gone too far,” Chitwood said.
The fire chief and city manager have said the station closures will have minimal impact on public safety, but response time’s citywide could increase substantially. Response times to emergencies in West Salem and North East Salem are likely to increase much more dramatically.
“The decision by the city to close two stations proves that they know dangerously little about public safety. The wildly inaccurate statement that closing those stations will “minimally” impact public safety is further evidence of their failure to grasp the significance of this decision,” Chitwood said.
The city plans to close stations beginning May 7.
“Residents should be outraged at the lack of leadership. Reducing public safety resources hurts the people of Salem who rely on us to show up as fast possible in their greatest time of need,” Chitwood said.