Plans in the mayor’s new budget to hire more firefighters won’t bring an end to the controversial practice called ‘brownouts’ — temporary closures of fire stations. And the firefighters’ union is seeing red.
A top-to-bottom assessment of the Philadelphia Fire Department says the department is wracked by low morale and racial strife. And response times are lower than national standards — particularly responses to medical emergencies.
Philadelphia City Council wants to end the policy of rolling brownouts, but the Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said they will stay in place.
The Nutter Administration told City Council members Tuesday that the controversial policy of temporary closures of fire stations is not going to change, even with an increase in the Fire Department budget.
Mayor Michael Nutter’s new budget includes extra cash for Fire Department overtime. However, that does not mean he is changing his policy of rolling, temporary closures of fire stations.
Two children were killed in a fire in the city’s Olney section, and now an official from the firefighters’ union is questioning if Philadelphia’s cost-cutting “brownouts” of fire companies played a role.