(KMOV) – Firefighters in the Monarch Fire Protection District say they are skeptical of the district’s board after they say the director told them in a recent meeting one of its fire houses may close.
IAFF Local 2665 Vice President Andy Stecko says when district board director Jane Cunningham told them the board was considering closing down a fire house at an open contract negotiations meeting this week, it caught everyone by surprise.
“I was in shock, again it’s just another sign that this board is putting dangerous personal agenda in front of public safety,” Stecko said. “We have no room in our service model to shut down an engine house, shut down a truck. “
But Cunningham says she never made such statement.
“Absolutely not, and if anybody interpreted that, they interpreted wrong,” she said. “There is no, I assure you from the horse’s mouth, no consideration of closing a fire house at all.”
The official transcribed minutes show why the firefighters may have interpreted her comments differently.
Cunningham first stated “We may close a house.”
A union rep then asked, “You’re considering closing a station?”
Cunningham responded by saying, “We have to have the right to configure things the way we are.”
Later in the conversation, Cunningham is asked again by the union rep, “So, are we closing a house, or are we not closing a house?”
Director Cunningham responded, “We’re not. This is about, we’re going to treat everybody the same.”
Cunningham later told News 4 she wasn’t referring to a fire house in the negotiations meeting, but was talking about the fire headquarters. No fire runs come from that building.
Fire union officials say it’s hard to trust the board and they don’t know what’s going to happen.