MFD says paramedic positions not being cut - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MFD says paramedic positions not being cut

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Despite a concerning memo, Memphis Fire Department officials said paramedic positions are not being cut, but personnel is simply being reassigned.

This move was explained in an internal memo sent out to firefighters on August 24. 

The memo stated: 

“Effective immediately, the Firefighter/Paramedic (FFP) position on all NON-Mandatory ALS companies (Fire Stations with no Unit assigned) with the exception of FS-6 (T-2) and FS-32, will be eliminated. The vacated positions will be filled with a Fire Private at a later date.”

With words like "eliminated" and "re-aligning of advanced life support companies," this memo has some worried.

"There is a shortage, and some people are going to die," said Council Member Janis Fullilove.

Some feared paramedic positions would be cut at 20 Fire Stations.

“Perception-wise, it doesn't look real good, but in reality, it's the same," said Memphis Fire Fighter Association President Thomas Malone.

Even though what stations firefighters show up to work will change, what won't change is the number of trained paramedics.

What also won't change is the number of trucks equipped with ALS services and ambulances. This ensures paramedics are where they are most needed.

"We would not stand by and be compromised by reducing EMS service to the citizens," said Malone.

Fullilove says this change was never brought before the city council. She found out about the changes only after concerned firefighters showed her the memo asking for help.

She thinks this could have been explained better, to ensure a seamless transition.

WMC Action News 5 asked Memphis Fire Department spokesperson why this was not explained to council prior to the changes, but we are still waiting for that answer.

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