ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – St. Louis firefighters are at odds with Mayor Slay over what they say are painful cuts in ambulance service.
Signs went up downtown at Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue accusing the mayor of shutting down ambulances.
A couple of years ago, the city started cuting back on ambulance overtime costs by diverting calls to private ambulance services as way to save tax-payer money.
“Right now we want the public to know that there are times when the fire truck or ambulance in their neighborhood is closed,” said Jeff Glorioso of the International Association of Fire Fighters local 73. “There’s no staffing for it like right now at Engine House 2 tonight where the medic unit covering downtown is closed.”
But Jeff Rainford, Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff, says the sign is spreading misinformation.
“As far as the billboard is concerned the only thing they got right on the billboard is the mayor’s telephone number,” Rainford said. “The thing that people want to know is, are there gaps in service and the answer is absolutely not.”
Rainford says the most recent city budget gives firefighters a raise and puts more money into the firefighters’ pension.