More than 100 residents, firefighters, union leaders, and community activists gathered at Fourth and Snyder Streets in South Philadelphia on Friday to protest the city's decision to temporarily close fire stations.
"We need our fire station. And we are willing to stand up and fight for it," said Mark Squilla, president of the Whitman Council, the local civic organization.
The community organization initiated the rally outside Engine 53, which was closed for the Friday night shift under the city's plan of "rolling brownouts."
Mayor Nutter launched the program on Aug. 2 in a budget-cutting measure. It's a rotational schedule in which three companies are closed during the day and three at night. Of the fire department's 56 companies, 23 are involved in the rotation. The city hopes the program will save $3.8 million in overtime costs.