Watch CBS News

Some Worried About Big Cuts Coming To Atlantic City Fire Department

By Cleve Bryan

ATLANTIC CITY (CBS) -- Atlantic City's Council and firefighters' union say they were left out on the plan approved last Friday by the state Civil Service Commission to lay off 85 firefighters.

"We didn't even know about this plan and all of a sudden 85 guys are on it," says Chris Emmell, president of Local 198.

The department currently has 236 firefighters on the rolls so it would be reduced to 151.

"There's been no communication on this thing and it's been done since April 17th and we had a couple council meetings since then," says Councilman William Marsh who served as Council President until last year.

"I think if you look at other cities comparable in New Jersey – 150 to 180 is the right number for Atlantic City," says mayor Don Guardian's Chief of Staff Chris Filiciello.

The complete 200 employee layoff plan, which includes 85 firefighters and 40 parks and recreation employees, is not yet available to the public.

Marsh worries about summer camps and other youth programs that would be affected by cutting the 52-member staff of parks and recreation down to just 12 people.

"I'm worried about our youth on the streets in the summer with no jobs and nothing to do and the young people nothing to do while their parents are working," says Marsh.

The layoffs will become officials once the city issues 45-day notices to the employees, something the city expects to do next week.

Emmell says the union is considering legal action.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.