Manchester firefighters upset after city council meeting

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

Firefighters in one eastern Kentucky city are upset after a city council meeting Tuesday night.

Manchester city officials discussed ideas on how to cut down on the number of calls the city fire department responds to help save money while keeping the citizens safe.

Manchester Fire Chief Jamey Mills says his volunteer department responded to 525 calls last year.

"They are answering a lot of calls that they shouldn't be answering," said Manchester Mayor George Saylor.

He says money is tight in the city, and he is worried about the wear and tear on the vehicles plus fuel costs of those runs.

He says ideas were discussed at the city council meeting about how to cut down on the amount of calls.

One of those ideas has upset the volunteer firefighters in Manchester.

"We was informed of the possibility of a new response policy which states that the police will be dispatched to check out any calls before we are paged to them," said Chief Mills.

Currently, the fire department is paged out as the same time as the other first responders.

"Frustrated, mad. I think it kind of shows lack of support from city hall. It's very frustrating," said Chief Mills.

But the mayor says no decisions have been made to change any of the current policies.

"They can respond to the calls that's necessary. I don't see why that will change. They've done it in the past, and I don't see why they can't do it in the future," said Mayor Saylor.

The fire chief says they volunteer to help keep people safe, and he hopes this issue can be resolved quickly.

Also in the city council meeting, the fire chief asked for a paid firefighter position, but the mayor says they do not have the money.

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