Firefighters take budget protest to court

December 16, 2008 11:12:07 AM PST
Philadelphia firefighters have sued the city in an effort to prevent what they call dangerous spending cuts in the fire department.

The firefighters union filed separate lawsuits in Common Pleas Court and the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, a day after about 1,500 people marched to City Hall to object to the cuts.

Philadelphia officials are facing a huge budget deficit. They expect to save more than $10 million a year by deactivating five engine companies and two ladder companies.

No stations would be closed and no firefighters would be laid off, but nearly 150 firefighters could be reassigned.

City Solicitor Shelley Smith responded to the lawsuits by saying that firefighters have already "lost the issue" because the city has the right to close fire companies.