Medford, MA, Mayor Says Firefighters' Sick Calls 'Orchestrated'

Feb. 16, 2024
Most of the firefighters who called in sick for day shift showed up at their fire stations for the evening stint.

Alarmed about the number of firefighters calling in sick, Medford city officials are delving into it.

The issue started on the first Friday of February when about a dozen called in saying they were ill. Things went south the next day. 

"We had 21 firefighters out of 23, they called out for the day shift," Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn told WBZ

Most, however, reported to duty at their stations for the evening shifts the same day which the mayor is a requirement for them to be on the overtime list.

Since the union agreed to a contract in November, the city has questions.

"It was an orchestrated event. It had to be," she said adding that in five days that week, it cost the city taxpayers more than  $58,000 in overtime.

No one from the fire department or union commented on the issue.

The city is now looking at firefighter overtime for the past few years.