Justice For Firefighters

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We’ve all watched Houston firefighters simply get abused by Mayor Turner, and he refuses to stop. Luckily in Austin, Houston state lawmakers are now leading the charge for justice.

This fight is personal to me. I almost died in a head-on car crash.

You know the only reason why I didn’t? The firefighters and paramedics who kept me alive until the chopper came.

I have seen firefighters give their lives saving us after hurricanes and floods.

That’s why I think this FOX 26 investigative report is important to share.

“In 2010, the City of Houston had 4,100 firefighters and paramedics charged with answering an estimated 220,000 calls. Twelve years later, the firefighter’s union tells us HFD is fielding 3,600 first responders to contend with nearly 500,000 calls for service,” investigative reporter Greg Groogan said.

Fewer first responders than we had nearly 13 years ago, that’s shameful and dangerous. Ring the alarm.

It is no secret we have tried to help our firefighters in their fight for simple fairness.

We have been outraged as Mayor Turner has spent millions of your tax dollars to simply screw firefighter families with lawsuits.

“His legacy will be one of the worst mayors in history suing his own firefighters,” said Lancton.

Cheating firefighters while this same mayor allowed his housing authority to give away 74 million dollars in tax money in one year for a dubious, politically corrupt, affordable housing gravy train.

We will lose billions in tax dollars over a lifetime as a result. Money that will be needed to pay firefighters, including possible backpay now.

The Texas legislature is now trying to fix what our mayor simply refuses to. The guy leading the charge is John Whitmire, who wants to be our next mayor.

“That is the reason for me bringing Senate Bill 736 to this Senate floor to tell the Houston firefighters that we will not forget them and hold the city to the wishes and the voters of Houston desire,” states Whitmire.

The Texas Senate has already weighed in, unanimously passing a bill to require forced arbitration between the mayor and the union going forward.

“29 ayes and no nays. The bill has finally passed. Thank you Senator,” stated Dan Patrick.

“Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the firefighters and the people of Houston, we thank you,” replied Whitmire.

In the Texas House of Representatives, Mary Ann Perez is taking the baton in the fight for our first responders. Her son is a fireman.

“The Houston fire department is at a breaking point, and it is well past time for the city to come to the table and resolve this six-year impasse for our dedicated firefighters,” said Representative Mary Ann Perez. 

The vote in the full house comes any day. The mayor’s council buddy Dave Martin would rather keep the firefighters waiting. Is he looking out for taxpayers or the mayor’s legacy?

“This should have never happened. A real mayor would have compromised with the firefighters six years ago, but recent history tells you a lot about Mayor Turner,” said Wayne Dolcefino.

Firefighters helped Turner win in 2015, he then turned on them with a vindictive campaign that must end today. Every day we wait to settle this fight and reenergize our firefighters, this will get more expensive.

“We should never treat our firefighters the way this administration has treated them,” said Marty Lancton.

State Representative Ramon Romero asked a question we should all be asking.

“How long should Houston firefighters have to wait to sit down at the table to actually renegotiate a contract,” asked Representative Ramon Romero.

Houston City Council deserves some of the blame. They know the mayor is trying to run out the clock, so the next mayor has the financial headache. Unacceptable. There is no excuse.

“The city, I believe, should start telling the truth to the public and the media,” said Lancton.

Way too many Houston problems come before state legislators. They don’t like it, but we applaud Texas lawmakers for trying to fix this. Lawmakers understand the role firefighters play to keep us safe. It’s time to cut a deal or force a deal.

“We should never treat our firefighters the way this administration has treated them,” said Lancton.

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