MFD must slash $5.8 million, 92 jobs - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

MFD must slash $5.8 million, 92 jobs

MFD director Alvin Benson announced during a press conference at station 6 Wednesday morning that there will be no layoffs. MFD director Alvin Benson announced during a press conference at station 6 Wednesday morning that there will be no layoffs.
City officials confirmed earlier in the week that fire station 6 on Thomas Street will close August 1. City officials confirmed earlier in the week that fire station 6 on Thomas Street will close August 1.

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Fire Department must slash $5.8 million and 92 jobs over the next year while also minimizing the negative impact on public safety.

MFD director Alvin Benson announced during a press conference at station 6 Wednesday morning that there will be no layoffs. Personnel cuts will come in the form of attrition, like retirements. The jobs will then unfilled and become deleted from MFD's complement.

City officials confirmed earlier in the week that fire station 6 on Thomas Street will close August 1. Also in August, a ladder truck at the station on Raleigh-LaGrange Road will also be decommissioned.

Benson says area residents need not worry about coverage because there are three other fire stations within 1.3 miles of station 6.

"This is an emotional experience for me," said Benson regarding the closure during the news conference. These are tough times We have to change. We have to adapt."

Decisions were driven by the city's budget crunch.

"We're going to do that in a way that makes sense for this city," said Benson. "There will be no firings, no lay-offs for the Memphis Fire Department."

Closing station 6 and decommissioning the ladder may just be the beginning, according to Benson.

"There could be more fire companies put out – trucks, engines – put out and/or a fire station considered for closure sometime in the next 12 months," he said.

The firefighters at station 6 will shift to other stations.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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