Hoquiam Fire Department suffers lay-offs
The City of Hoquiam announced that they will lay off 4 firefighters, saying that it all comes down to funding.
According to City Administrator Brian Shay, ambulance calls last year dropped by 9% and revenues by over 10%.
“These people we are laying off, they are all excellent firefighters,” said Chief Paul Dean “They are all dedicated to serving and protecting the people of Hoquiam.”
Changes in staffing had been discussed since last year when the Ambulance Fund had to borrow $100,000 at the end of 2013.
Finance Director Mike Folkers said, “We had hoped that 2013 was an anomaly and that calls for service would pick up for 2014 and return to 2012 levels. But they have continued to decline even further.”
Since 1992, the City of Hoquiam has seen a 24% reduction in their workforce.
Shay said, “Each loss has been a painful yet necessary step.”
2 paramedics and 2 firefighters will be laid off. All 4 have been with the department less than a year.