CLEVELAND, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cleveland firefighters have filed an action with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) requesting the City of Cleveland begin negotiations regarding the integration of the Divisions of Fire and EMS.
"SERB instructed the City to commence discussions with firefighters nearly two months ago," said Local 93 president Frank Szabo. "Yet, the City has filed legal maneuvers in an attempt to avoid negotiations."
Cleveland firefighters have been mitigating emergencies and providing emergency medical care since 1863. Although the concept of integration has been rebuffed by the City for more than 20 years, firefighters have always openly embraced improving service. Our deep experience in protecting lives and property will provide valuable input that would benefit the public. The process of integration needs to be based on scientific data and firefighter's best practices, not political posturing.
The International Association of Fire Fighters has provided valuable assistance and input for successful integrations in cities such as Omaha, Kansas City, and Memphis and stands ready to help the City of Cleveland.
"Despite the lowest staffing of the Division of Fire in at least 50 years, Cleveland firefighters have been expanding the services they provide to the community," added Szabo. "Increasing the size of the Division of Fire by integrating would of course increase the size of the membership of the Association of Cleveland Firefighters. Suggestions that firefighters have been opposed to integration are as inaccurate as they are illogical."
About IAFF Local 93
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the leading advocate in North America for the safety and training of firefighters and paramedics. The IAFF Local 93 represents nearly 800 full-time professional firefighters and paramedics who protect the City of Cleveland. Local 93 provides many important services including: fire protection, hazardous materials response and rescue services ranging from basic and advanced life support medical care, high-angle incidents downtown, water rescues on the lake or rivers and extrications from motor vehicle accidents. More information is available at www.iafflocal93.org
Union Contact: Frank Szabo
Cell (216) 385-5065
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE Association of Cleveland Firefighters, Local 93