Budget Burns San Jose Firefighters

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Jul 30, 2010  |  Updated 9:22 AM PDT
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It's the middle of fire season but that isn't stopping the city of San Jose from cutting several firefighters loose and shutting down an entire station.

San Jose is $118 million in the hole and just doesn't have the money to keep the 51 firefighters on duty.

The city asked each of its 11 unions for concessions of 10 percent cuts in salary and benefits to help balance the budget and avoid layoffs. But Mayor Chuck Reed says the firefighters union came up $6 million short so he and other city leaders are left with no choice but to make the drastic cuts.

The layoffs start Friday. Fire Station 33, atop Communications Hill, will close its doors the for last time and three other stations will be forced to cut staff and operate with less equipment.

Some fire engines will be eliminated and some with be shifted to other stations in an effort to reduce the impact of the closure and reductions in staff.

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