Mayor Nutter considers veto of paramedic bill

    A newly passed Philadelphia City Council bill says paramedics are firefighters. The designation is important when it comes to contract negotiations.

    A newly passed Philadelphia City Council bill says paramedics are firefighters. The designation is important when it comes to contract negotiations.

    The bill changes the city fire code saying paramedics are firefighters. Councilman Jim Kenney, who sponsored the legislation, says the paramedics are trained to – and do – fight fires when called upon to do so.

    “They are uniformed personnel of the Fire Department,” says Kenney. “They are on fire scenes. They do act in the suppression of fires as needed. They do act in assisting in the dragging of hose and the saving of lives. To insinuate they are something other than a firefighter is wrong.”

    Mayor Michael Nutter says firefighters and paramedics, who have distinct work rules, should be separate when it comes to contract negotiations. He’s not sure if he will veto the bill.

    Councilman Kenney gave this warning against a veto:

    “The mayor is my friend. He’s been my friend for 30 years,” says Kenney. “But it will be his first override.”

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