NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Twenty-five New London firefighters desperately tried to save their jobs, but at 5 p.m. on Tuesday they will all be unemployed.
The decision comes after the city council failed to vote on a contract that would have averted layoffs. The vote was tabled at a city council meeting Monday night.
Now the question remains, could the loss affect public safety?
Kevin Foley praised the work of firefighters, recalling their response Saturday to a blaze that ripped through his Grand Street multi-family home.
"They did a heck of a job," he said. "They put the fire out very fast."
The 15 tenants were able to get out uninjured, but the building and a neighboring house were so damaged, both were condemned,
"It could have been a lot worse," Foley said. "Nobody got hurt, that is the biggest thing."
Foley was grateful it was a full staff of firefighters responding to the blaze just days ago, but ask him about these layoffs and his answer might surprise you.
"New London is only six square miles big and three, four miles in any direction," he said. "It's another town with another fire department and I know they all help each out and lend a helping hand when needed," he said.
News 8 spoke with other folks who have never needed a firefighter and many expressed concern that the cost savings of the layoffs could put residents at risk.
"Oh no, oh no, we need those people," said Brendia Merchant. "How could they do that?"
"It's gonna hurt everyone in the city and it's gonna hurt all the other firemen," said Cathy Culley. "They're going to be over tired if they're over worked, understaffed."
The community wants to be confident each call can be answered.
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