Mayor, fire chief, union still unsettled on radio issue


The mayor and fire chief met today privately with firefighter union officials to discuss ways to come up with the $285,000 needed to pay to upgrade the department’s radio equipment, but didn’t come up with any solutions.

Fire Chief Barry Finley had proposed July 24 the elimination of two of the department’s six battalion chiefs through attrition with the money saved to be used to improve the radio system. He said at the time that the reduction wouldn’t impact the safety of firefighters or the public.

But on Aug. 5, Finley completely changed directions and said he wouldn’t follow through with the plan citing risks to firefighter lives and public safety.

Charlie Smith, the union’s president, said, “It was not an in-depth meeting. Basically just an open discussion about the most recent issues, concerns. Nothing has changed since the public meeting held last week.”

For the complete story, read Friday’s Vindicator and

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