LAWRENCE, Ind. -
The City of Lawrence now has 20 fewer Emergency Medical Technicians to respond to emergencies due to budget cuts.
Mayor Dean Jessup said city officials are working to balance the budget by the end of the year and cutting 20 EMTs will save Lawrence nearly $2 million.
Officials said Lawrence has struggled with budget woes since 2010 when several firefighters were added to the force.
In 2011, Lawrence received funds from Indianapolis to help close a budget gap.
Meanwhile, Jessup's Chief of Staff Tim Joyce said that city leaders are working to help the men and women who have been laid-off.
"We've done what we can with contacts. We can try and set up some places for them to land. They're all very hardworking people and I'm sure they will land," Joyce said.
Lawrence firefighters will now be expected to take on the duties of the 20 EMTs, and the number of firefighters on each engine will be reduced from four to three.
"You will still have the certified paramedic showing up. A lot of those folks were showing up on the scene as firefighters to back up anyway, so clearly you get the same service and the same response time. You are going to be safe no matter what happens," Joyce said.
Lawrence has a partnership with Indianapolis and can call for reinforcement if needed.