Hialeah Firefighters Outraged Over Approved Budget

HIALEAH (CBS4) – Hialeah firefighters voiced their outrage over the now-approved budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year at Thursday night’s budget hearing.

The budget will take effect on October 1st and, if the union and city don’t reach a compromise, it would cut about 40 percent of their work force from 266 to 161 firefighters.

“We cannot possibly sustain our level of service with those cuts or any cuts in staff. This is about public safety and life or death,” said Hialeah Association of Firefighters President Mario Pico. “Our response times will increase and people may die.”

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald that layoffs would begin in October unless the fire union agrees to $4 million in concessions.

“This is not easy! This is not a joy for anyone here,” said Mayor Hernandez.

Another hearing will be held on September 26, 2011, to allow the residents the opportunity to voice suggestions and concerns regarding the proposed budget.

The Herald reported that Hialeah’s proposed budget would not raise property taxes, but would count on steep employee concessions, especially from the city’s fire department.

If staffing levels drop below the current numbers, the city would have to return $2 million in federal Homeland Security grants, as well as raise insurance rates for both residential and commercial policy holders.

“The residents of this community expect and deserve a balanced budget without raising taxes,” said Hernandez. “I remain committed to ensuring that our local government makes the necessary sacrifices to live within its means, while continuing to deliver quality service to Hialeah residents.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the budget.

Comments

One Comment

  1. adios89 says:

    Bye, Bye pretty boys. All you guys did most of the time was sleep and waste tax payer’s money. These budget cuts are long over do.

    1. duke dukeson says:

      i like cheese.

    2. RobC. says:

      Hey adios, I”m guessing you don”t live in the city of Hialeah. So you are not worried that the next time either you or a family member needs life saving intervention or god forbid your house is on fire and it takes fire rescue 10 plus minutes to get there instead of the 4 to 5 minute respone they receive now. Honestly, you really want this to happen? Like the article mentioned, loosing that many FF, The City of Hialeah’s insurance rates go up. Then the feds are going to want there money back. So I ask you. Are the citizens really benefiting on these layoffs?

    3. carlos says:

      adios89 are you really this stupid????

      1. patrick A. says:

        Th truth Hurt ,doesn,t it?

    4. Iris says:

      You envious lowlife. You are jealous because you are not one of them. You probably never had much schooling and cant compare yourself to them, Iguess the next best thing would be to hate them. You could never command the respect that these professional young men and women do. I guess when something tragic happens to you, you will understand how important they are to society,YOU MORON!!!!!!!!! For now continue to watch TV and eat papitas all day long,im sure thats all you are good for.

    5. Mariap says:

      adios89 I agree 100%… and don’t forget about the majority of the pretty boys trying to pick up the ladies when on duty. This applies to majority of cops as well who are even WORSE. Time to clean the house. They need to hire individuals who are not abusive and are willing to respect this profession(s) 100% !!! Then things will change for the better.

      1. Lost Wages says:

        I should have been a fireman,

      2. Truth says:

        Good people who DO respect this profesion are going to get laid off. People with children. Firefighters work 24 hour shifts, so of course they sleep. However, when the alarm sounds at any hour, they are ready to respond. Whether it be a fire or to help someone off the floor of their bathroom, or a vehicle accident. Many times, firefighters go the whole night without sleep. When a firefighter works on Christmas or Thanksgiving, they are away from their families the entire day. They dont get to go home at 5:00 and spend the rest of the night with their loved ones. Loved ones who will not have much of a holiday season this year due to layoffs. The fire union sent proposals to the mayor with concessions that would have satisfied the citys financial needs. The mayor refused. He doesnt want firefighters to give, he wants them to bleed. To me, it looks like payback because the firefighters are not backing him, or his council members in the upcoming elections.

      3. iBangUrMother says:

        Sounds personal to me. You guys are clueless to what the job entails. Tough guys behind computers. Fire station doors are open to the public through out the day time… How about you voice your opinions in person.

  2. FDNY 343 says:

    Then again they will come to whoever needs the help…..and saves lives daily. Lets hope your loved ones don’t have a stroke/MCI and don’t get the help they deserved because of these budget cuts.

  3. UckTheFunions says:

    Now, go make a calendar and show your abs to support yourselves just like we supported you during your hose holding and ab crunching years!!

  4. CAM says:

    I RESPECT FIRE FIGHTERS AND POLICE FOR THE CAREER THAT THEY CHOSE, BUT I DON’T THINK THEY SHOULD BE PAID MORE OR HAVE BETTER BENEFITS THAN THE PEOPLE SERVING IN THE MILITARY, IN WAR ZONES. THESE PEOPLE TRULY RISK THEIR LIVES EVERY DAY. I THINK IT’S GREAT THAT THESE CITY GOVERNMENTS ARE LOOKING CLOSELY AT WHAT THEY ARE PAYING THEIR CIVIL SERVANTS. EVERYBODY THESE DAYS HAS TO MAKE SOME SACRIFICES, I KNOW I DID BY HAVING MY SALARY CUT BY 10%..I DON’T LIKE IT BUT I UNDERSTAND IT MOST CITY FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE ARE OVER STAFFED AND WASTE ALOT OF MONEY. IN FORT LAUDERDALE ON COMMERCIAL BLVD THEY ARE BUILDING A NEW FIRE HOUSE THREE BLOCKS FROM THE EXISTING ONE? THEY PROBABLY COULD HAVE WAITED BEFORE SPENDING THAT MONEY BUT…..THEY DIDN’T AND THAT IS WHATS WRONG WITH CITY BUDGETS.

    1. Hector Rodriguez says:

      I feel as if you have a point in what you are saying but, in both proffesion military & civil service such as (fire & police) they risk their lives as well on a daily basis. So to say they shouldn’t be compensated accordingly would be ludicrous.

  5. Truth says:

    This article isnt talking about most fire departments, its talking about Hialeah. Hialeah has one of the lowest paid departments in the state. Twenty years ago, they were among the highest. And as for being overstaffed, OSHA recomends at least four men on a truck and Hialeah runs with three on most days.

  6. nomercy55 says:

    CANT REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I SAW A FIRE IN HIALEAH,ILL USE MY GARDENHOSE….NO MERCY

    1. Neena Malin says:

      nomercy55, you are a MORON!!! Two huge fires wednesday night, good luck with your little hose.Jealous,Envious,Hateful is what you are. Uneducated idiot, get a life. Cant wait till you need one of them,what a beautiful sight that will be.So sorry you werent smart enough to get an education like these wonderful intelligent firefighters. GO HIALEAH FIREFIGHTERS,YOU ARE TRULLY OUR HEROES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. ace05 says:

      To nomercy and everyone else thats bashing the fire rescue community:
      Just because the news did not report it doesnt mean it didnt happen. The news media wont cover ever accicdent, fire or other emergency ever time because it will get boaring after a while and lets fave it media is all about ratings. To nomercy I pretty sure that you will be the first one calling 911 if you and your family were in an emergency: fire, rescue, accident, etc, what are you gonna do if( heaven forbid) you or a loved ones is critically injured are you, yourself gonna provide first aid. Do you have all the equipment that the fire rescue uses to save as life. Let me tell you something else even with this bashing that your doing, the brave men and women that make up the fire rescue community will still lay his or her own life on the line to save yours and your familys’. Some advice for you dont believe evertything out of a corrupt politicans mouth blaming gov. workers for the cities all over the nation’s downfall. You are doing all this bashing why dont you bash the politicians with their pensions plans and pay not including expense and travel accounts and to add also a full health coverage for life just after serving a couple of terms. While gov. workers have to work 25+ years to retire.

  7. Truth says:

    Thats because the media doesnt show up every time theres a fire like they do in some other places. Go ahead and use your garden hose, I hope you all get out of the house okay, unlike the last guy who tried that. His mother burned to death.

  8. KD says:

    ADIOS 89 YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOOO IGNORANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG LOL….

  9. Jose Lopez says:

    im a firefighter & i’ve been one for the past five years. I’ve gone through about 3 1/2 years of schooling & training in preparation for this job. It took me about 4 years of applying for this job throughout the state of Florida. I agree that given the state of todays economy that some concessions should be made to off set a lack of city revenue but to say that you have to fire almost half of the entire fire department to make up the lost is crazy. I think instead of looking @ the fire fighters you should be looking @ the Mayor & the others that manage the city’s money. Something seems to have gone terribly wrong there!

  10. Truth says:

    I suppose you think its ok that politicians make more than police, firefghters and military personel?

  11. Find a leader that can lead says:

    The mayor has no idea how to balance a budget. He is receiving a city pension but wants to destroy other city employees. I think he lacks the compassion and knowledge to run the city of Hialeah or any city or organization for that matter. Hialeah needs to elect someone who can lead this city with out destroying it.

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