More than 50 part-time firefighters will be out of work starting Wednesday when stations on Greenwell Avenue and Rapid Run Pike go dark.
Cinci. Enquirer 11-19-04
DELHI TWP. – Trustees have decided to close two firehouses and cut the township’s firefighting staff in half to save more than $1 million in the wake of two failed property tax levies. More than 50 part-time firefighters will be out of work starting Wednesday when stations on Greenwell Avenue and Rapid Run Pike go dark. For many part-timers, working for Delhi Township was their only source of income. “Do I go wait tables or something now?” said Michael Heekin, a part-time firefighter. “It could be months before I get a job with another department.” Trustees said cuts became a necessity since the defeat of police and fire levies this month. “Our first priority had to be our full-time job holders,” Trustee Jerry Luebbers said.
Trustees voted not to keep clerical help in police department offices on a 24-hour basis. “We knew there was going to be a drastic change, but I don’t think anyone thought it was going to be this drastic,” said Chris Klug, secretary of Delhi’s part-time firefighters association. The loss of part-time staffers could affect response time for emergencies, Klug said. “Some people may end up waiting 15 to 20 minutes for a squad from Miami Township to come help them,” Klug said. Luebbers agreed, saying this would be the first time since the 1950s that the township would operate with only one firehouse. “It’s a shame it had to close so quickly,” Luebbers said, referring to the $2 million station on Rapid Run Pike, which opened in 2001. Trustees said there are still more cuts coming. Luebbers said he could not rule out layoffs for full-time personnel.