Firefighters Burned Up Over Budget Cuts

Firefighters and local residents blocked Aramingo Ave. Thursday evening protesting plans to remove an engine, A.K.A “pumper,” from the firehouse at Aramingo and Huntingdon.

The pumper is the source for water to fight the fires. Ladders don’t carry water or have the capacity to pump water from hydrants, members of the the firefighters union told NBC 10's Mike Strug.

This all started with Mayor Michael Nutter’s announcement Thursday about his proposed budget for the City of Philadelphia.

Pieces of firefighting equipment will be removed from 5 engine companies and 2 ladder companies, Mayor Nutter announced.

Wait, so what does that REALLY mean?

There are 63 fire stations and there are 56 engines and 27 ladders that will be divvied up between them. Every firehouse will have one of these pieces of equipment, a ladder, engine and/or Paramedic, said Chief Williams from the fire department.

It’s a plan that has firefighters fired up all around the City.

Two trucks will be taken off the streets of Center City, which, in turn, will increase response time, Fire Union President Brian McBride told NBC 10’s Doug Shimell. And, response time means everything to a firefighter.

“It’s a direct attack on the safety of firefighters and the citizens we serve,” McBride said.

Something else to take into account: new Center City skyscrapers and high-rise condos were built in just the last few years.

Over at 4th and Arch, Engine 8 will lose their pumper, too.

Not only that but, 148 vacant positions in the fire department will not be filled.

Public safety will not be endangered, the City reassures. With this plan the department will save money.

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