Consolidation Deal Breaker?
It was a deal that would save the City of Ocala $500,000 next year.
Consolidation of Ocala Fire Rescue and Marion County Fire Rescue's Emergency Dispatch Centers was approved by city council members last week, but union members say they now have proof that it was a bad deal.
"If they cut me, they can cut anybody," said Wendell Rora, Battalion Chief over Ocala Fire Rescue's Communication Division.
Rora, a 27-year-veteran with the department, says interim Fire Chief John Deiorio gave him the message on Thursday.
"Basically they just said consolidation, there was no need for my position anymore," he said.
Rora says he wants his job back, and the consolidation vote reversed.
Last week council members approved consolidation 4-0; after the county told them, no city fire employees would lose their jobs.
"I don't blame the council members I spoke to at all, they were given information, and they thought it was true information," said Robert Altman, Local 2135 Union President.
Altman says the safety of firemen and those they're serving, is at stake.
"We're going from two dispatchers that we currently have now which says we have to have for our call volume, down to one," he said.
Council members and firefighters want answers.
"Nobody's knowing or nobody's saying what happened, what transpired or how this came about," said Rora.
Chief John Deiorio would not comment, as well as Assistant County Administraor and Fire Chief, Stuart Mcelhaney, who was called into the meeting by council members, but was only prepared to answer some of their questions.
Council members agreed to hold a special meeting next Friday, to hear concerns of the city firefighters.
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