Firefighters union responds to Toledo councilman's post on response times

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The message is big and bold, and it's all being directed at Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes.

"He was out of order, uninformed and very irresponsible," Toledo Firefighters Local 92 president Dan Desmond said of Sykes.

Desmond put the phrase, which reads, "Confused? This is not a fire station either," on the marquee outside his downtown offices on Tuesday after fallout from a Facebook post by Skyes.

In the post, Sykes wrote out concerns about firefighters response time to a woman in a wheelchair who collapsed outside Fire Station 1 last Thursday. Despite signage, the building serves only as administrative space. It's something Desmond says Sykes should have known.

"Very much so in this specific case, councilman Sykes should have done his due diligence," Desmond said. "It doesn't take long — a phone call — 'Hey, what's going on?'"

Despite having no assigned crews, administrators from Station 1 still helped while nearby Station 3 responded three minutes later.

“Looking at this case and looking at the times, it was a good run," Pvt. Sterling Rahe with Toledo Fire and Rescue said.

Sykes attended council's Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday but left early. 13abc then tried to talk with him outside of Government Center, but he said he was busy.

The councilman released a statement instead that reads in part: "After feedback from our firefighters and community members, I learned that the tone of the post implied that our firefighters do not respond to calls for service in a timely manner. That was not my intent. I am appreciative of their service and will be mindful of the tone of my post to ensure the message does not convey otherwise."

Meanwhile, at Local 92, Desmond says the apology is well deserved. When it comes to signage at Station 1, he says keeping it as is is just fine.

“Leave it up, take it down, it doesn’t make any response time any better," Desmond said. "It doesn’t help that patient that’s lying on the sidewalk.”