11 Middletown firefighters given layoff notice

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Eleven Middletown firefighters are losing their job meaning a local fire station will have to close its doors.

The news was announced late Friday afternoon in a release from Middletown Professional Firefighters Local 336. It came the same day the city workers were given notice that their last day will be Aug. 16.

After the moves, that will drop the city from 76 to 65 full-time professional firefighters. Middletown doesn’t employ part-time or volunteer fire crew members.

Local 336 information officer Chris Klug said it costs the city about $100,000 per firefighter for an entire year.

In addition to those jobs, four other positions are being eliminated from the Division of Fire’s budget.

Middletown's firefighters union has been in talks with city administration since the cuts were announced December 2013, in an attempt to find a solution or come to an agreement that prevented the layoffs.

The decision on who would receive a pink slip was based on seniority, Klug said.

As of Friday, when the layoffs happen Station 84 on Tytus Avenue will be closed and all other stations will be staffed with three fire personnel that will cross-staff an engine and a medic unit, according to Klug.

“When an emergency comes in they will take the most appropriate vehicle and leave the other,” he said.

The union announced that it was hopeful they could avoid the job cuts but those affected are already moving forward.

“Middletown Firefighters Union tries to remain hopeful that the city and they will be able to keep from laying off,” Klug said. “However, those given layoff notices are already out applying for other jobs to make sure they can support their families at the end of the day.”

Middletown last laid off six firefighters in 2012. But the city managed to bring back those firefighters when they were awarded a FEMA SAFER grant.

Klug said he hopes his union can receive a similar grant as the conversations with city officials continue.

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