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Ohio fire dept. to demote 9 firefighters, take 1 fire truck out of service

The Youngstown Fire Department will eliminate three fire captain and three lieutenant positions in an effort to alleviate financial troubles

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A fire department will demote nine firefighters and remove one fire truck from service in an effort to alleviate the city’s financial problems.

The Vindicator reported that the Youngstown Fire Department will eliminate three captain and three lieutenant positions, according to an announcement from Mayor Jamael Tito Brown.

Three other lieutenants will be demoted, and the demoted captains will take their positions.

Fire Chief Barry Finley said that while taking a fire truck out of service and demoting firefighters made for a “rough day,” the move is better than laying off firefighters or closing a station.

“At the end of the day, we all realize it’s something that needed to happen so the city could maintain its fiscal responsibility,” he said.

Brown said the city is “continually following” recommendations from a financial expert, who projected a $2.22 million deficit by the end of 2019 and a $16 million at the end of 2023.

Miasek said that since the department will no longer need to repair damages to the truck that is taken out service, the change will save the city around $90,000 in the 2019 budget.

He added that another $110,000 will be saved by freeing up the 18 firefighters who worked on the truck, reducing overtime costs.

“Now we have the ability to shrink the fire department through attrition and fill those ranks because we’re going to have 18 firefighters freed up,” he said.

Another $70,000 will be saved in payroll due to the demotions.