In the middle of a pandemic that has taken the lives of 26 firefighters, the nation is losing more firefighters. COVID-19 related budget cuts -- in communities large and small – have resulted in the layoff or furlough of at least 935 fire department employees, including front-line firefighters, EMTs & paramedics. This new data comes from an International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) survey that also projects as many as 30,000 fire department jobs lost this year and next.
“The same firefighters the country considered essential in battling COVID-19 are suddenly told they’re no longer needed,” says International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) President Gary Ludwig. “With almost 1,000 firefighters and support personnel missing from the front lines at this early stage, it’s clear these cuts will be deep and long-standing. Significant and meaningful federal funding is essential to prevent the largest cuts to fire and EMS since the Great Depression.”