Uniontown has notified its entire paid fire department that all six members and the chief will be out of jobs by the end of the year, with volunteers to take their place.
In a letter sent Wednesday to the International Association of Firefighters Local 955, Councilman Gary Gearing notified firefighters the layoffs will be complete by Dec. 31, when the next contract expires.
City council voted Tuesday to notify the fire department of the intended layoffs. Mayor Ed Fike said the move is intended to save money.
Fike said although the fire department recently landed a $632,835 federal grant to bring the force back to its full complement of 11, council is uncertain it can legally accept the funds.
Fike said city officials have questions about how to replace those funds when the grant runs out.
Joshua Bloom, a Pittsburgh attorney who represents the firefighters, said today the union plans to fight the layoffs.
Copyright 2010 Tribune Review Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved
August 26, 2010