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Toronto firefighters hope to sway council against possible truck cuts

Several Toronto firefighters were in attendance during Tuesday’s city council meeting amid concerns that some fire trucks will be taken out of service.

Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association president Ed Kennedy says the public needs to be aware of just what could be on the chopping block as council discusses the budget.

“This is the third year in a row that we’ve had to mount a campaign to make the citizens of Toronto aware that there was a potential impact to their fire protection – that they were looking at taking trucks out of service,” he said.

Firefighters say they hope council will maintain existing service, suggesting the alternative is a matter of life and death.

Kennedy says the trucks are crucial for firefighters responding to emergency situations in the community.

“For just a normal house fire they’re supposed to be on scene within nine minutes and we’re not achieving that,” he stated. “This will make those responses slower.”

A number of firefighters came to council donning red shirts with the words “Toronto Fire Fighters Are NOT GRAVY” on them, in reference to Mayor Rob Ford’s election campaign promise to end the gravy train at city hall.

They say they hope their attendance will influence any possible final decisions by city councillors.