Memphis fire station staffing thinned by protest

By: AP
By: AP

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — There should have been 10 firefighters on duty during a weekend shift at one of Memphis' fire stations, but only six were working — and some of those were fill-ins for regulars who called in sick.

The Commercial Appeal reports the station was one of four that had its ladder truck idled for the day so its four firefighters could be spread around to help with manpower shortages caused by a so-called "Red Rash" work stopped.

The city's firefighters and police recently began calling in sick to protest recent budget cuts that raised insurance costs for city employees.

On Saturday, 80 firefighters claimed to be too sick to work, up from 68 on Friday.

At the same time, the number of police officers calling in sick declined to 348.

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