UPDATE: Bristol VA Mayor says no job cuts for city fire departments
The executives of the Bristol Virginia City Council said Tuesday that there will be no reduction of jobs at city fire departments.
That new information, confirmed by Mayor Bill Hartley and Vice Mayor Archie Hubbard to News 5, comes hours before a public hearing on the proposed 2017-2018 budget scheduled at Virginia High School Tuesday night beginning at 6 p.m.
A plan had come before City Council earlier this month that would have cut 10 firefighting positions and close the Lee Street fire station as a cost-cutting measure, prompting a fire fighters union representing Bristol personnel to become involved in a public awareness campaign.
"This proposal is irresponsibly, dangerous and completely ignores a key function of government - to keep those it serves safe," Bristol Professional Fire Fighters Association president Mike Wise said in a May 15 statement.\
Councilman Kevin Mumpower said the city's current roster of 45 workers at fire departments was too many and that was costing Bristol nearly $1 million a year. He called for a civilian-to-firefighter ratio after his own research showed similar localities were operating with less personnel.