By Josh Resnek
With short, terse and serious remarks Everett Firefighter’s Union President Craig Hardy informed the city council that the city needs to do more for its firefighting force to meet the needs of the present as well as the future.
“There are a lot of big buildings going up…we need more firefighters…the new ambulance service cannot simply be started up…time is needed to do it right,” Hardy told the council.
Hardy did not speak directly to the mayor, rather, he spoke to the council when he should have been speaking to the mayor.
After all, it is the mayor and pretty much the mayor alone, who governs what the Fire Department does – who it hires, who it fires, who it ignores, who it promotes – and this includes Hardy, who was recently promoted by the mayor to lieutenant.
Hardy insisted that the city needs to swear in 19 firefighters “the way police officers are given the honor.”
“They’ve already served one year without being sworn in,” Hardy said of the 19 firefighters already trained and on the payroll.
Three police officers were sworn in shortly after Hardy delivered his remarks during the public speaking portion of the council meeting Monday night.
Also noted by Hardy is that the fire department at 103 firefighters is short of the manpower it needs to run a small city fire department with increasing
responsibilities regarding public safety and fire safety.
He remarked that for five years, no firefighters had been hired despite the pleas of the union and the rank and file, which finally led to 19 new firefighters being hired.
He said there is now an ambulance on order and to be received shortly but that the protocols for running the ambulance service simply are not there, yet.
“We need more time. This needs to be done right,” he said.