Firefighter layoffs postponed in Middletown

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – 11 Middletown firefighters got a reprieve Wednesday that extends their time on the job.

Scheduled layoffs within the department were supposed to take effect Friday, but officials said that date is now August 30.

The city agreed to the extension to allow for a new proposal to be devised that would avoid the layoffs.

The Middletown Firefighters Local 336 would then have to vote on the deal.

As early as last October of 2013, union leaders were told that the city could not afford as many firefighters.

Previously, the city used the Safer Grant to help fund the department.

Officials said  the grant was a short term solution that came with restrictions they didn’t like.

Now., they’re proposing their own solutions, including an extension on the collective bargaining agreement and maximizing the use of employees.

“We’re hopeful that we’ve got something here that we can live with that the fire union can live with that we’ll save those 11 jobs. If the membership chooses to vote that down then those 11 jobs and ultimately 4 open positions for a total of 15 positions will be lost and we’ll move forward as necessary,” said Laslie Lawden, law director for the City of Middletown.

Officials said a new staffing model does begin Monday, August 18. It includes the closing of Station 84 on Tytus Avenue.

The new set-up will put three firefighters in a station that will cross staff a fire engine and medic unit.

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