Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County--
Furloughed Wilkes-Barre firefighters-- along with friends, family, and colleagues-- demonstrated displeasure with cutbacks to their department Tuesday morning in the Diamond City.
Dozens of firefighters and their loved ones say losing 11 city firefighters will be detrimental not only to the department, but also to the residents who rely on their protection.
Furloughed firefighter Eddie Smith has been with the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department for more than a decade.
He said, "We just keep on dwindling and dwindling. Even if there's a fire and they have enough guys on duty, they have nobody to call out to help."
With wife Tracy and daughter Sidney by his side, Smith says he's trying to take things one day at a time since the furloughs took effect over the weekend.
Smith continued, "Stressful, stressful-- just wondering if we're going to get our jobs back, how we're going to pay for healthcare for our kids, you know?"
Minimum staffing standards require 11 firefighters on duty at any time.
Currently, Wilkes-Barre is just above that line, scheduling 12 per shift.
Firefighters we spoke with say that's a big concern.
Firefighters Local 104 Vice-President Greg Freitas explained, "You might call for a fire engine, and you might not get one. And it's happened in the past. We've had multiple calls where engines were tied up at other fires, and couldn't make it to another one."
Union reps say the city spurned concessions they offered in an attempt to save some jobs.
Four public works employees have also been laid off.
So once again, firefighters attempted to make their voices heard.
And it wasn't just Wilkes-Barre city firefighters pounding the pavement Tuesday.
Friends and colleagues from other departments stood by their side.
Andy Mhley, a firefighter from Hazleton, noted, "We all want to go home alive. Sometimes when you cut manpower, shifts, or whatever-- line of duty death is inevitable."
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton and members of his administration have repeatedly reiterated their hope that the furloughs are only a temporary.
It's a position many out here say they simply aren't buying.