By Scott Leamon
WSLS10 Reporter
Published: May 1, 2008

The Roanoke Firefighters Association sent 90 members to city hall.

Roanoke City Council held a public hearing on proposed budget cuts.

In all, more than half a dozen Roanoke city firefighters spoke to council, including Scott Hetherington.

Hetherington just returned to the job a few days ago after suffering a heart attack while fighting a fire.

The budget proposal for the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department calls for it to lose six positions through attrition.

Association president Rodney Jordan called it a “safety issue” for the entire community.

City manager Darlene Burcham said would not recommend anything that would hamper safety for the citizens of Roanoke.

City council could vote on the proposed budget as early as May 12.

Burcham said current shortfalls in state and federal funding meant at least a two percent cut for each city department.

She said overall the city will lose 44 positions.

Speakers on the behalf of the firefighters association said the cuts could be absorbed in other ways, such as moving firefighters from the county’s Clearbrook station back into city stations.

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