Union deal keeps fire truck in operationby Curtis Gilbert, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The president of the St. Paul Firefighters union says a deal has been reached to keep a fire truck in service after Mayor Chris Coleman threatened to mothball the rig.
The agreement with the mayor's office keeps Rescue Squad Two in operation through the end of 2014. Union president Mike Smith said having the truck staffed and available makes the city safer.
"Any time you take one piece of apparatus out of your system, you don't have as many rigs to respond and the response times could go up, and in our field life or death is a matter of seconds," Smith said.
Coleman wanted to reassign the firefighters from the rescue squad to other units in the fire department he thought were more critical to public safety. In a compromise, the union agreed to a different staffing shift instead.
The agreement also means the firefighters will not protest at Coleman's budget address Monday, Smith said.