Philly firefighters protested recent budget cuts on Friday, saying more people have died or been hurt as a consequence. The Mayor's office says the real rub here is about a kitchen table topic -- money.
The view from City Hall, according to The Metro, is that the union may be trying put a little scare into the public mindset just in time for contract negotiations.
Five engines and two fire companies were deactivated last month as part of the cuts the Mayor says must happen to survive the current economy and get spending back in line with revenue. The Mayor office says there were no firefighters lost their jobs and the cuts are saving the city 10 million dollars a year.
The Firefighters Union, Local 22, says the budget cuts can be directly connected to a human toll -- that fire deaths and injuries are up dramatically so far this year. The union says more than a dozen people died in fires during January. That's 10 times more than the same time last year, according to The Bulletin.
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Everett Gillison, says he's disappointed in the union for using scare tactics. He says the trend in fire deaths, year to year, has been going down since 2005.
The mayor's office told NBC10's Monique Braxton on Friday that the firefighters' union is more upset over another set of numbers -- a lack of overtime more than safety issues.