NOFD Chief Tim McConnell asked firefighters to come back to work, saying they can address labor disputes later, reports 4 WWL CBS.
The manpower shortage comes amid a labor battle between Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration and the New Orleans Fire Department. Union leaders argue the severely understaffed department’s overtime policy keeps money from firefighters. The city, in response to a boycott of voluntary overtime, canceled many firefighters’ vacations and other leave in an attempt to meet staffing gaps.
Fewer firefighters have put one pump and one ladder out of service. Two heavy rescue units that would respond to traffic accidents are out of service as well.