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Did the Firefighters' Union Take Advocacy Too Far?

At Fire Station 63 in Venice | Photo by Jonathan Alcorn
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First there were signs in front of fire stations (see above) and now a mailer using images from the Chatsworth train crash (see below) that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is calling "tasteless, offensive and misleading."

The United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, the union representing LAFD members, has been in a battle against Villaraigosa about service cuts. Facing a massive budget deficit, Villaraigosa wants all departments to "share the sacrafice" and make cuts. That includes the fire department which is now cutting service back by 87 firefighters throughout the city on a rotating basis. The number of personnel is equivalent to 15 trucks and nine ambulances, says the union.

And those were the numbers used on a flyer sent to various residents. "The Los Angeles City Council is considering cutbacks to your fire departments that will be devastating for public and firefighter safety," it read. "Budget cuts mean less firefighters to respond to emergencies and catastrophes."