Mayor Frank Jackson wants to downsize Cleveland fire - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mayor wants to downsize Cleveland fire departments

East 116th Street, Cleveland East 116th Street, Cleveland

In an effort to save money, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is removing fire crews from two east side stations.

Mayor Jackson said it's part of the integration of fire and EMS crews

As of Monday, the stations on East 116th and East 172nd and Superior will remain open with EMS crews in place of firefighters.

The firefighter's union cautions the local community that this change impacts cuts to their service. 

Carlin Mcnary's always felt pretty secure at his barbershop on E. 116th. His barbershop is located across the street from the fire station. Mcnary felt a sense of security knowing fire crews were within spitting distance of his business. But now, Mayor Frank Jackson has decided to take the fire trucks out of this station along with the station on E. 74th and Superior to save money.

Locals interviewed in the neighborhood said they need the fire department because there's always something going on.

Frank Szabo, the President of Local 93 firefighter's union, says that the coding that's used to define emergencies doesn't always tell the whole story. People having medical emergencies often are in need of rescuing, too. 

According to Szabo, the cuts are a creative way of trying to downsize the fire department and kind of try to hide it behind a veil of a service increase when it's really a service decrease because there are less firefighters working every day.

Szabo wonders what would have happened on the scene of a devastating fire that happened on Dunham Avenue last year.  He says the fact that firefighters were located nearby helped them rescue and save the lives of the children inside.  

The Mayor says what's being done is the right step forward for the community. 

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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