Portland city manager considering disciplinary action for "closed" sign at fire station | News

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Portland city manager considering disciplinary action for "closed" sign at fire station

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland City Manager Jon Jennings is looking into taking disciplinary action after a "closed" sign was put up in front of the Munjoy Hill fire station.

It's unclear who put up the sign, but it appeared after an overnight ambulance was taken out of commission to cut overtime costs.

The sign has been removed and the ambulance is operating again, but some firefighters, including a union representative, said not using that ambulance put the public's safety at risk.

Jennings said that's not true. He said the sign made it look like the whole station was shutting down. Now he's looking into all possible options, including taking disciplinary action.

He's asked the fire chief to look into what happened and bring a report to him.

Jennings said whoever was responsible for the sign should've gone to him directly.

"It was much ado about nothing, but I'll tell you when you start to frighten the people of Portland with childish antics like that, that's when I get very, very angry," Jennings said.

John Brooks, a union representative for the firefighters, said the city needs to put more money into public safety services.

"These guys see the worst of the worst," Brooks said. "When they put a sign out front talking about public safety, it's because they're passionate about it. They've seen what happens when you're shorthanded."

This disagreement comes at a time when there's been ongoing tension between the city and the fire department. The firefighters have been working under an expired contract since 2013.

Brooks said he'd like to sit down with Jennings to move forward with negotiations.


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