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Wheeling Firefighters discuss thoughts on budget, potential cuts

Updated: Thursday, June 26 2014, 02:21 PM EDT
WHEELING, W.Va. - With Wheeling City Council set to hold a budget meeting Monday, members of the Wheeling Firefighters Local 12 Union held a news conference Thursday to discuss their thoughts on the budget and how potential cuts could affect staffing numbers.  
The last time the Wheeling Fire Department endured any loss of manpower was in 2008 when it lost three members due to attrition. With no eminent cuts to their, budget union members say they're taking a proactive approach to make their position clear that they oppose any cuts.
During that news conference, they highlighted a number of services they provide for the community and said that with a reduction in staffing, their response time would likely also be cut.
They also said they already operate below minimum requirements for staffing per engine.
"(Wednesday) morning, there was a fire in South Wheeling. Had those guys not been there in that South Wheeling station, you would have added 3 or 4 minutes to that response time," explained Local 12 Union Spokesman Dave Harmon. "It could have greatly impacted the way that fire went. We were lucky to get a quick knockdown on it. A fire will double its size every minute, so that 3 to 4 extra minutes could have really caused some problems, especially with houses in South Wheeling being so close to each other."
No cuts have been made, or even proposed for the fire department. They want to make the public clear that any changes to their budget could potentially have a negative effect on staffing and their ability to respond to calls.

Wheeling Firefighters discuss thoughts on budget, potential cuts

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