Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Elyria – Four Elyria Firefighters, along with their Union President, were called to the Chiefs Office today and were told that Friday is the day.

Dean Marks, President of the Elyria Firefighter’s Union, said that the Firefighters were given paperwork today pertaining to what their severance package would be and Cobra information about getting health insurance. “We were told today that nothing is official but that Friday is the day that it will be official. On Friday they would be given a fourteen day notice.”

Right now the number is 12 and possibly a 13th Firefighter could also be handed a notice come Friday. Marks said that they were also told today that come June another wave of layoffs is possible.

Marks said that their meeting was cut short by the alarm for the West Ave house fire. “I was the Officer on the truck at the time and two of the potential people to be laid off were on the Rig with me. We were the ones on the line that went in and extinguished the fire.”

Marks said that he is hopeful that a letter he sent to Elyria Law Director Terry “Pete” Shilling yesterday will put a hold on any layoffs. The letter was sent to Shilling by Marks as an Elyria taxpayer – in it Marks says; “The announced layoffs of Firefighters and resultant closings of Elyria Fire Departments scheduled for February 27, 2009 are an immediate threat to the public safety of the people of Elyria and the property of Elyria.”

Marks letter says that it is the “statutory and constitutional duty of the municipal Fire Department to protect the lives and property of those people.” The letter requested Shilling’s office to “initiate and immediate equitable action under 733.57 of the Ohio Revised Code, and or the common law to mandate the pubic safety obligation of the City of Elyria by maintaining the status quo of the currently manned and operated Elyria Fire Departments until the delivery of recommendations currently underway by the professional consultation ordered by the City of Elyria and commenced on February 17th, 2009 by McGrath Consulting Group.”

Marks said that before the audit he believed the staffing to below standards and says that if the new layoffs would go through it will “decimate those standards making it impossible to fulfill the Firefighters’ duty to protect lives and property of the people of Elyria.”

In response to Marks, Shilling responded through a fax today that his office will proceed with his request. “This Office and myself as Law Director will proceed per your request with the necessary research and filing of such action (suit) as we determine appropriate and allowable under ORC section 733.57 et seq., Rule 65 (A) Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and Ohio Common Law regarding said “Public Safety Obligation.”


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