The president of the Memphis Firefighters Association defends the department in a letter to the Memphis City Council

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – In a letter sent to the Memphis City Council on Friday, Memphis Firefighters Association President Thomas Malone said he was dismayed by what he believes is a systemic problem within the Memphis Police Department. , “heart drops”.

The letter says he believes otherwise. Among the letter’s topics, Malone discussed the problem of maintaining the Memphis Fire Department. That’s also something Chief Gina Sweet addressed at Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

Memphis Firefighters Association President Thomas Malone defends the department in a letter to the Memphis City Council(Action News 5)

Chief Sweat said 80 percent of MFD’s calls to them today are emergency response calls. This is a 10 percent increase over the past six years and a 2.5 percent increase from 2021. According to Sweat, this increase, along with the fact that more than 65 percent of MFDs will need to be replaced starting in 2018, means maintenance is something they need to address immediately. .

“The number one issue is how do we recruit and how do we retain in this new environment that we’re in,” Chief Sweet told the Memphis City Council on Tuesday.

District 5 Councilman Worth Morgan told Action News 5 on Saturday that he agrees it should be a major issue addressed.

“We must do everything we can to attract and retain the best for our fire and police departments,” Morgan said. “No other action will have a significant impact.”

Malone’s letter also addressed the issue, but blamed inadequate information by officers at the scene for the ill-preparedness of MFD personnel who responded to the fatal Nichols traffic stop.

Councilman JB Smiley asked Chief Sweet about the same issue at Tuesday’s meeting. Sweat responded, “apparently they didn’t perform at the level we expected or the citizens of Memphis deserved.” Sweat continued that “they did not act within the guidelines of the policies that have already been defined and therefore they are no longer with us.”

That decision is something two EMTs and a lieutenant are now appealing, Action News 5 confirmed with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s office Saturday.

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