Hamtramck firefighter layoffs symptom of bigger money problem

Oct 1, 2012

Hamtramck laid off half its fire department today, and there's more pain to come.

Kyle Tertzag is Hamtramck's acting city manager.

"Financially, the city is in a dire situation. There's not sugar coating it. That's what it is."

Firefighters rejected $575,000 in concessions to help the city balance its budget. Tertzag says that rejection "complicates" the city's effort to secure a $3 million loan from the state. That's because the city's deficit elimination plan filed with the state assumed those concessions.

Meanwhile, Firefighters Local 750 President, Lieutenant William Diamond, says there will be a huge need for overtime this month.

"We need 7 firefighters on duty every day and there’s going to be 15 guys to fill those 7 slots," Diamond says, adding that the department's remaining firefighters will have to alternate working 24-hour shifts.