Recession Taking a Toll on the Fire Service

  From layoffs and threats of layoffs to pension fights and brownouts — all in the name of saving money — the nation's career firefighters are under assault by the unrelenting economic recession. Firefighters are enduring a withering attack on...


  From layoffs and threats of layoffs to pension fights and brownouts — all in the name of saving money — the nation's career firefighters are under assault by the unrelenting economic recession. Firefighters are enduring a withering attack on the rank and file that some say is...


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And things aren't playing well for firefighters in Peoria, IL, with up to 15 firefighter jobs on the line. According to the Peoria Journal Star, the city is looking for 5% across-the-board cuts that have already been endorsed by the City Council. Police officers and Public Works Department employees are also being affected by the proposed cuts, according to the newspaper.

There is one bright spot — Bensalem, PA, started a new fire department and hired four full-time paid firefighters. According to The Intelligencer newspaper, Bensalem has six volunteer fire companies that will remain. Each of the four firefighters will earn approximately $40,000 a year, plus benefits, and will join three paid full-time and three part-time fire inspectors from the Fire Marshal's Office to create the Bensalem Township Fire Department.

—Ed Ballam