Marysville Fire Department lays off three firefighters, four others

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Fire District laid off three firefighters and four staffers Thursday morning.

The district’s board of directors made the decision Wednesday night, Fire Chief Greg Corn said. The vote was 6-0.

The layoffs were effective immediately.

The district also made $590,000 in cuts to operations and capital spending, Corn said.

Declining property values have reduced the district’s revenue, he said. This is the first time the fire district has had layoffs.

“All of these cuts are difficult decisions, and all of these people contributed to the operations of this department,” he said.

The district now has about 86 firefighters, and altogether 93 full-time staff and 25 part-timers. There could be small changes for certain fire crews or fire stations to compensate for fewer staff members, Corn said.

Among those laid off was the fire district’s longtime spokeswoman, Kristen Thorstenson. She also organized many of the department’s fire safety outreach and education programs.

The cuts caught the union by surprise, union secretary-treasurer Jeff Bilow said.

“We’ve been dealing with budget-type stuff, but we didn’t know this was coming,” he said.

A meeting is planned between union leaders and the district for Friday afternoon.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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