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Firefighter Local 59 Video Urges Citizens to Address City Counci - KOAM TV 7

Firefighter Local 59 Video Urges Citizens to Address City Council

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Joplin, MO -

Joplin firefighters and Joplin police are calling on city hall to increase pay as both departments continue to see a mass exodus.
    Now there's a video asking Joplin citizens to join them.
With dramatic music in the background, images pop up on a video of firefighters in action or receiving awards and certificates. Then the word
Gone pops up over their picture.
One after another, firefighters with five plus years of experience are leaving, the video shows.  And  Joplin fire department member and even some citizens know it is  for better pay or benefits.
The Joplin Professional Firefighters Union, Local 59 created the video and posted it to Facebook. Union President Jeremie Humphrey, himself, mows lawns to supplement his income. And says he
s not alone.
"Most of our fireman from the chief down have second, third jobs just trying make ends meet,"  Humphrey said.

Humphrey never thought he would consider leaving, but he is now.

If  Ive got to move on, Ive got to move on. But  my goal is not to leave. Joplin best department
i think we got a council ready to make the changes gotta buckle down  make those decisions let the people speak."

so far 5 people registered to be on the agenda including former candidate Steve Urie who said,
I think the video  is right on. I have watched each of the people photographed in that video leave. I’ve heard their stories, um, I think  that  it’s time that something gets the attention of the citizens and the citizen’s  realize they have a voice and to use it.”
Urie said in his five minutes before the council on June 4th hell focus on the city charter.   "I think they're violating our city charter. The preamble to the  city charter contains the words promoting welfare. Talking about providing for the citizens living here,"  explained Urie.
He also believes the council needs to make funding cuts and points to spending on the Schifferdecker golf course as money that could have been spent on firefighters and police.
Urie said, "When you spend over four hundred thousand dollars in one year, just arbitrarily, yes I do."

 Firefighters contend losing firefighters to departments that pay more  can be dangerous for the community.

Humphrey said, "In public safety, responding to people emergencies, it takes experience. A person who's never been there before has to make a decision in a split second."

Humphrey said the fire department can't simply cut responses as the police department recently announced. The goal of the video is to make sure the community is heard.
Humphrey urged citizens, "If your public safety   is important to you, you need to tell them."


    A city spokesperson told us  that no one from the city was able to comment on the video.


     Residents have until Thursday at noon to register to address the council. You can do that online or in person at the city clerks office but you must fill out a form. Citizens are allowed to talk for five minutes if on the agenda. Others can try to speak by signing up at the meeting itself but it is up to a vote of the council whether or not they are allowed to speak. The meeting is June 4th at six p.m.

To watch the video click here. 

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