Danville Firefighters Local 429 has won a grievance, and as a result summer patrols by firefighters in the city parks have ended.
And, in fact, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer says all ‘community engagement activities’ by city firefighters has been stopped….
The Mayor says the city realized that the summer park patrols were something firefighters normally had not done….
The Firefighters Local had maintained the City made a unilateral change to working conditions, without a negotiation, by adding three additional work hours to the contractual agreed upon workday. The union also contended the City was demanding Local 429 members perform duties outside of recognized industries standards.
Mayor Eisenhauer told city council members during Tuesday evening’s meeting that safety was a factor in the decision to end the patrols. ‘’They (city firefighters) do not feel safe in the public, and that was the reason for the desire to end the community engagement,’’ said the Mayor.
But Alderwoman Sharon McMahon said firefighters ‘’were patrolling in the parks and received a directive that said they were no longer to patrol – that they were to go and sit in the park. They could not sit in the truck,’’ said McMahon. ‘’And it was over 100 degrees on many of these days, and that’s why they got a little testy about it. It was very, very hot and there was nobody in the park,’’ added McMahon. And she said several times after sitting in the heat for three hours, firefighters then had to go fight a fire.’’
Mayor Eisenhauer quickly rebutted the claim, though, that firefighters had to sit outside in the excessive heat. The Mayor says a directive had been given that on those days, firefighters were to remain in their air-conditioned trucks.
Firefighters started patrolling the parks three years ago following a tragedy in which a teenager was shot and killed in one of the city’s parks.