Mich. firefighters facing layoffs as grant runs out
Three firefighter positions will be eliminated and three lieutenants will be demoted to firefighters to save money
CHELSEA, Mich. — Three firefighter positions are in jeopardy of being eliminated when the Chelsea Area Fire Authority board passes its budget later this month, officials said Friday.
Two firefighters could be laid off and a third, currently unfilled position nixed, board chairman Rod Anderson said. The positions had been paid for by a three-year federal SAFER (Staffing for Adequate and Emergency Response) grant that ran out this year. Now officials are attempting to keep within its $1.4 million budget without the grant money, a day everyone in the department knew was coming, according to Anderson.
“This is not a surprise,” he said. “Everyone knows or should have known this was a temporary grant. We’re under no obligation to keep the firefighters aboard.” Other cost saving measures would involve demoting the department’s three lieutenants to firefighters, thus lowering their pay grades, and perhaps decreasing other salaries by 90 cents an hour.