Will layoffs impact how fast firefighters get to you?

One person died in a house fire in Middletown, April 24, 2014. (WDTN photo/Jordan Burgess)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WDTN) — The Middletown firefighters union fears what expected layoffs will mean for their ability to handle future fires.

The union says 15 firefighters will be laid off in August. They question what that loss will do to response times.

“Middletown firefighters have seen response times nearly double over the past few years, and run numbers continue to increase,” says union representative Chris Klug. “If the number of firefighters is reduced even lower one can only make a very educated guess that the time it takes for a fire truck or ambulance to get to those in need in the City of Middletown will only go up with less firefighters/paramedics.”

The department has dealt with two fatal fires in the last two weeks.

A fire on El Camino Drive Thursday left one woman dead despite attempts by firefighters and witnesses to rescue her.

A fire earlier in the month on South Sutphin street killed 32-year-old Malisa Faye Cheeseman. She was pulled from the flames by firefighters but died later of her injuries.

2 NEWS called Middletown’s city manager but we have yet to hear back.

The union wants the city to apply for a federal grant to pay to keep the firefighters on but the grant could only be used for two years.

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