Taylor Fire Dept. questions remain

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Something of a stand-off remains in place between the city of Taylor and its fire department. As of Friday the roster of 38 remains unchanged, 15 firefighters await a call back to duty, and negotiations are on hold pending a possible appeal by the city of a court order to rehire staff.

The current staff operates mostly out of the central station on Goddard Road; the north and south stations on Ecorse and Eureka roads were closed in October, and Fire Chief Robert Tompos said those two are only used occasionally, two or three times a week.

According to a state arbitration ruling issued Dec. 30, the city is violating minimum staffing requirements, and an order was issued calling for the reinstatement of 15 firefighter positions that were cut in June 2011.

A mediation meeting Thursday failed to produce a resolution restoring the positions; the City of Taylor has until Jan. 19 to appeal the state’s decision.

If the positions are not restored, the city may be forced to contract for private EMS and ambulance services; medical assistance has been part of the Taylor Fire Department since 1999, but officials said that the same budgetary restrictions that resulted in 48 employee layoffs in 2011 have not improved. Tompos completed last week a proposal for city officials to consider in seeking outside services.

Tompos said the lingering questions will likely be addressed during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

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