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Toronto firefighters’ association condemns proposed budget cuts

Jan. 9, 2013, Toronto – The president of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (TPFFA) says proposed cuts to the 2013 operating budget will endanger the lives of citizens and firefighters.

January 9, 2013
By Olivia D'Orazio

Jan. 9, 2013, Toronto – The president of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (TPFFA) says proposed cuts to the 2013 operating budget will endanger the lives of citizens and firefighters.

“Put simply, these cuts will impact our ability to protect the people of Toronto,” Ed Kennedy said Wednesday at a news conference.

“Toronto already has a failing grade in meeting national fire protection standards. A reduction in resources and personnel will only make the situation worse."

The City of Toronto’s draft budget calls for the closing of one station, the permanent elimination of 101 vacant front-line positions, and the removal of five frontline trucks from service.

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Kennedy says that if the proposed budget is passed, response times will increase city-wide.

“Our message to councillors has been very clear," he said. "Toronto Fire Services has had no increase to its staffing complement since amalgamation in 1998. Any cuts to our current staffing levels that would increase response times and endanger the lives of the citizens of Toronto or its firefighters, is unacceptable."

The TPFFA has launched an awareness campaign on the proposed budget measures, which includes a door-to-door component, and is encouraging Toronto residents to contact their councillors to express any concerns about the how the potential cuts may affect fire protection.

The proposed budget is set to go before the city’s executive council on Thursday Jan. 10, and will be voted on by Jan. 17.