I am not sure if anyone noticed. Hell, everyone may take it as the norm anymore…but the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department just got 6 positions lighter. When the budget was approved last week, 6 firefighter/EMT positions were on the chopping block. Without even a whimper the positions were lost or “unfunded” as they are technically considered at this point.

I bet there are firefighters that don’t even know what just happened.

The truth is that if they were just going to be unfunded the proper way of doing that would have been to just have a hiring freeze until more than 6 positions were open and not hire for the 6. The way it was handled stinks of deceit. Firefighters have always maintained that if you shoot us straight we will shoot you straight! Why do all of the lies and half truths continue.

I can’t help but be reminded of the time that Bev Fitzpatrick patronized us by saying that Historic Station 1 would not be shut down and then carried out the voted to build the new station 1. I am not trying to harp on an old subject but why did he feel the need to try to sugarcoat the issue and tell the public that half truth. More on that subject…Roanoke’s citizens were told that the historic station 1 would remain open with light duty personnel. That hasn’t been the case in almost a year though. All the while, we have had firefighters on and off of light duty.

I spoke in the past of meeting with Delegate William Fralin at the General Assembly in Richmond and he asked why it wasn’t open. He enjoyed taking his children to see the station including the old trucks, artifacts, and history.

Back to why I am writing this post…

Roanoke’s Firefighters are sick and tired of the continued loss in public safety. Sick and tired to the point that it seems they don’t even want to take the time to fight more and more cuts. That includes the Police Department too. Fewer Officers on the streets leads to increased times in getting to the patient if there is a threat to us first responders. We have to wait on PD, who is substantially short handed because they can’t fill the positions they have.