Firefighters getting laid off, other cuts coming to Lorain as city deals with budget hole

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 19:40:23-04

State funding cuts and the the closing of a major factory, have put Lorain's financial back against the wall.

Now, major job cuts are just hours away.

These are anxious times for Lorain firefighter Jon Crum. 

Crum and 22 other firefighters get laid off Friday, they're only hope is a federal safety forces grant, called a Safer Grant, but time is running out, jobs are on the line. and talk about timing.

"My wife is due with our third child tomorrow, it's also the same day I am facing layoffs,” Crum said.

Crum is also concerned about citizens, because he's worried response times to emergencies will get longer.

"We're going from 19, or 20 firefighters a day to six or seven, so response times are going to take a hit, citizens on the far west side of Lorain, it could take 15 or 20 minutes for a fire truck to even get there." Crum said.

City leaders are also asking for voluntary furlough's at City Hall.

It's all blamed on state funding cuts, and lost revenue from the steel plant shutdown, leaving the city with a $3.6 million budget hole.

"Nobody wants to see this happen and it's a very unfortunate situation,” said Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer.

Ritenauer knows the Safer Grant isn't the total answer, but he's optimistic it would save firefighters jobs in the long run.

"My hope is that with the Safer Grant being announced, with the cuts, and with what other units and employees are doing, with council and the administration taking on some revenue ideas, even though the Safer Grant is for 18 firefighters, we can call all of the laid off employees back,“ Ritenauer said.

Lorain City Hall will close at noon on Fridays in an effort to save money on the payroll.