As Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Minor laid out budget issues in her State of the City address last night, one group showed up to protest a potential budget, the shutting down of Fire Station No. 7 on Sryacuse's east side. Firefighters were out in force during the mayor's speech to get their point across.
Picketing the mayor's speech last night, members of the Syracuse Fire Department, wore bright orange T-shirts calling for Station 7 to be saved. Lonnie Johnson, president of Local 280 of the International Union of Firefighters says the station answered the most fire calls of any station in the city last year.
"We did over 28,000 runs last year. We are projected to do over 30,000 thousand runs. And on two or three occasions last year we actually ran out of fire engines," said Johnson. "We think this time is the wrong time to make the cuts."
The bottom line says Johnson, is response time, which he says will suffer if the station, that needs a million dollars in repairs, is shuttered. Miner says it's too soon to worry about this.
"The issue of Fire Station 7 has become premature and blown out of proportion. It's part of putting together our budget," said Miner.
Johnson is urging residents from the university area to the Hawley neighborhood to call the mayor and fire chief's office to urge them to support keeping Station 7 open.