Fox10 News continues to follow-up on the controversy that started at this week’s Mobile city council meeting. It has to do with Airbus and Mobile Fire Rescue. City leaders are responding to concerns about fire protection at the aircraft assembly plant.
Although Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s revised budget passed unanimously, there was one question brought up right before the vote. Council member CJ Small asked if cuts to the fire department were in compliance with the Airbus contract with the city.
“It’s something we went back,we looked at the contract, and we’re in full compliance with it’s terms,” said Chief of Staff Colby Cooper.
Cooper said the questions did catch the staff off-guard because council members were encouraged to ask questions and express concerns before a vote happened.
“I will say we believe we have a very good relationship with Airbus and I’m pretty sure if they had concerns they would’ve picked up the phone and called as well,” said Cooper.
The main issue centers around budget cuts affecting Mobile Fire-Rescue. The cuts call for the re-assignment of one of the engine companies at the fire station located at Broad and Baltimore streets. Small said that violated the Airbus agreement which states that three engine companies would respond if there were a fire at the Airbus facility at the Brookley Aeroplex.
“In terms of the impact it may have to Airbus there’s more than one particular facility that is written into the terms, and that is something that’s an ongoing conversation between Airbus, the city, and Mobile Fire-Rescue,” said Cooper.
Fox10 news has learned that the engine in question is still in service and will be until told otherwise. Mobile Fire-Rescue is attempting to save more than 300-thousand dollars in overtime costs due to balancing the budget.
We did attempt to contact council member Small and are waiting to hear back. The stations that would respond to the Brookley Aeroplex and Airbus in case of a fire, are located in Small’s district.