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Villaraigosa is 'Pointing a Gun at Our Heads,' Says Firefighters Union

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Photo by MargaretNapier via Flickr
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As part of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's "shared sacrifice" plan to save the city budget, cuts proposed to fire department ladder and ambulance companies, nicknamed "brownouts," would short-staff stations on a rotating basis by 87 firefighters.

According to Pat McOsker, President of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles, the last time the city made similar cuts, a mother and daughter died in a South LA fire where the nearest company was browned-out. “We couldn’t get there in time thanks to brownouts, and two people died as a result.” said McOsker.

Villaraigosa said earlier this week that the cuts do not "necessarily" put the city in the situation the union describes and that he has tough and unpopular decisions to make.