Firefighter Union President: “Something Bad Is Going To Happen In This City”

(Memphis) Safety is once again at the forefront of the Memphis Fire Fighters’ Association.

Leaders had some heated comments after three of their own were hurt in the line of duty Sunday.

The union is blaming budget cuts, among other things, for the recent increase in injuries.

There have been two big fires in two weeks. There was one at the former American Drum and Pallet Company in South Memphis and another Sunday at Signatures-X t-shirt shop.

With firefighters injured at both, some like Thomas Malone, president of the Memphis Fire Fighters’ Association, believe it’s time for changes to be made.

“We’ve cut some of our ladder trucks. We’ve cut personnel. We don’t have the redundancy built in that we had and that we need,” he said.

Malone said the fire department has less people on staff now then they did in 1970.

Councilman Edmund Ford told WREG he agrees there is a direct connection between understaffing due to budget cuts and recent injuries to firefighters.

Malone adds stress over pensions and insurance could be impacting firefighters’ ability to focus on scene.

“All of the sudden the alarm goes off, and they have to produce within four minutes,” he said. “You have to think, these things that they’re doing…Is it hurting our people? I think it’s playing a large part.”

Councilman Lee Harris also told WREG the council needs to work on funding public safety until they get it right and take some of the heat off of those who protect us from it.

Malone added, “With these cuts that they’re talking about… We’re rolling the dice, and we’re fixing to crap out here before too long!”

Harris said the council will talk about public safety at their meeting Tuesday.

Ford is holding a town hall meeting about public safety funding Monday night at 7 p.m. at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.

16 comments

  • MikeBarret

    The article doesn’t have him saying what the headline says, but I’m going to assume nobody’s making up quotes and he actually did say it. At best, that’s spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt. At worst, that’s a straight up threat.

    Less people on staff than in 1970. OK. How many calls per year did MFD respond to in 1970 and how many last year? How many administrative staff (secretaries, what-not) did they have on staff in 1970 that are obsolete now but were on staff then and could be used to mess with the numbers.

  • smith

    Its time for the insurance company to chip in to support the cost of fire department, After all the department extinguish fire to save them money.

  • Kevin

    this town has fallen apart under Wharton’s watch but these stupid uneducated southern hicks and uncle toms hated Willie.

  • gary henderson

    Well when the population consists of gang bangers who don’t pay taxes what do you expect??

  • Bill

    The Firemen should be paid two rates. One for thier down time and the other when they’re actually fighting fires.

  • Paul

    Take care of the police and fire depts OR you will see Memphis become another Detroit. I support Memphis Fire and MPD. Do you?

  • MemphisDad

    This is what the Fire Dept. Union director said back in 78 when the firefighters went on strike, shut down the city and went on an arson spree. Give them nothing.

  • Silky Johnson

    You talk shit on the fireman until you need them. Bill, if you could only experience what a fire does when he fighting a fire you would understand,and wouldn’t make stupid statements like the one above.

  • Joe

    my god Malone…..stop talking and proving your ignorance….

    really? they elected you?

    if the fire boys in your association cant get it together in 4 minutes…..they need to move along….

    for those who whine about the danger of that job…….you choose the job you want…..no one told you you were guaranteed a big fat payday and pension for a job that requires no college education

    we all make choices in life……you chose a job with some risk that allows you to retire after 25 years and start drawing a pension immediately

    if you think your job is unsafe……guess what…..you chose a career that requires you to FIGHT FIRES……tired of it? then quit…..take that security guard job and shut up

    we appreciate it when you work hard……but we drive by the stations every day…..and we see the hours of inactivity…..we see you washing your own vehicles….

    we have a hard time feeling sorry for you

    grow up boys and girls…….life is hard for all of us

  • Rick

    A fire fighter and police officer do the job of many while sacrificing their lives on a the call of another. Thank you for all you do…and please do not lose faith in humanity through these struggles.

    John 15:13

    Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

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