Youngstown Fire Union responds to criticisms from fire chief, two engines shut down Saturday
International Association of Firefighters Local 312 President Jon Racco has responded to criticisms made by Youngstown Fire Chief, Barry Finley on Friday.
On Thursday, the City of Youngstown experienced two deadly incidents just a few hours apart from one another: a fatal crash which resulted in a vehicle getting split in half and a house fire in which a deceased body was found inside the house.
When Racco released a statement criticizing the city for having just one ambulance available during the crash and none available during the fire, Chief Finley said the city's firefighters need to "come to work" stating that as long as all firefighters show up, there is enough staff to man all stations and engines.
Now, Racco released another statement firing back at Chief Finley:
"Chief Finley continues to put his own failures on the members of Local 312 and is now questioning our commitment to public service and threatening our member's jobs. It's offensive."
"His own contributions to public service since his appointment consist of closing fire stations, staffing reductions, the deterioration of apparatus, equipment and stations and now the complete elimination of any labor-management relationship."
"On 12/1, the day Chief Finley referenced, there weren't enough firefighters available to open all YFD's apparatus, even before one firefighter requested sick leave. Chief Finley has failed to secure enough staffing for his department and the result has been apparatus closures almost daily."
"As for EMS, Local 312 requested to bargain for and provide a first responder service in September. We are still waiting for Chief Finley and the Administration to acknowledge the request."
"This attack on our members is a deflection of Chief Finley's own shortcomings mixed with bold-faced lies. No one cares about Youngstown's citizens more than Local 312's members, including the ones who spent yesterday resuscitating them in the street and searching for them in a fully involved house fire."
Chief Finley reached out to 21 News again this morning and told us that Engine 9 on Midlothian and Engine 15 on McCullum will both be shut down on Sunday due to five firefighters reporting off sick.
"I'm tired of the union making me and the administration the bad people. We come to work, they don't," Finley said.