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Council debates Toronto fire service cuts at morning budget session

TORONTO – Emotions continued to run high during day two of budget talks at Toronto City Hall which focused primarily on cuts to Toronto Fire Services Thursday morning.

The current reductions being considered by council would see 84 fire fighter positions erased and four trucks taken off the roads.

“I can tell you if this does happen, it’s going to put the public at risk. It’s going to increase response times,” said Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association President Ed Kennedy.

Kennedy went on to say that if anything, Toronto needs more fire fighters on payroll because of the city’s growing number of high rises.

“We haven’t done a proper risk analysis of the fire service, we need a new 2014 fire master plan,” he said. “We had experts state this was a mistake.”

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Kennedy compared Toronto to Chicago saying that fire fighters here have to cover more land but have fewer crews to do so.

The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association recently released a 16-second ad warning of the impact these cuts might have on current services.

However, the budget proposal indicates service disruption will be “minimal” and that a staff report recommends increasing the amount of fire prevention officers instead.

WATCH: Toronto Professional Firefighters Association president Ed Kennedywarns of cuts to the city’s firefighter budget

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