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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Pasadena

City Council Rejects Use of Volunteer Firefighters

April 30, 1998

The City Council has rejected a proposal to have volunteers become part of the four-person squad that staffs municipal fire engines.

Council members voted 6-1 Monday, with Councilman Sidney F. Tyler Jr. dissenting, to reject a proposal to use volunteers instead of permanent firefighters as the fourth person on a fire truck.

The vote culminates an extended battle between the Pasadena Fire Fighters Union Local 809 and a citizen group, the Committee for Fiscal Solutions.

The group said the move would save the city about $3 million annually. But firefighters and their supporters warned it could lead to the department depending on inexperienced personnel in deadly situations.

Police Chief Barney Melekian, who as public safety director oversees the Fire Department, opposed the proposal but said he was willing to consider volunteers to help professional firefighters as perhaps a fifth or sixth person on an engine.

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