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Firefighters’ Union Asks City To Halt Mass Reassignment of Paramedics

(Firefighters' union Local 22 president Bill Gault, at lectern, gestures while addressing councilmembers in the City Council caucus room today.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Firefighters’ union Local 22 president Bill Gault, at lectern, gestures while addressing councilmembers in the City Council caucus room today. Credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn, City Hall bureau chief

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia firefighters, upset about the mayor’s plan to transfer paramedics, took their case to City Council today.

“Anything you could do, we would greatly appreciate,” said Bill Gault, head of Firefighters Local 22, in a personal plea to City Council members to intervene in the mass transfer of paramedics among the city’s firehouses.

“The citizens are going to suffer while we’re learning new locals, new ERs, new partners, new systems,” Gault said.

Councilman Jim Kenney, whose father was a Philadelphia firefighter, has already asked the mayor and aides about the transfers.

“They said they have a clear rationale for doing it and they would explain it, and I’ll wait for their report,” Kenney told KYW Newsradio this morning.

The mass transfers are expected to take effect next month.  Philadelphia deputy fire commissioner Ernest Hargett says the move is the result of a lawsuit filed by paramedics two years ago which, in turn, prompted shift changes.

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