Tampa officials unhappy with Hillsborough County

05/01/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Tensions between the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County are increasing regarding a move to have Hillsborough firefighters provide emergency medical services at Raymond James Stadium.

On Monday, the Tampa Sports Authority voted 6-5 to allow county paramedics to move in on what previously has been the domain of Tampa EMS workers.

City Attorney David Smith said Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is not happy with that vote. Smith said the city may sue if the Hillsborough County goes through with the idea.

The issue came up in February, when County Commissioner Jim Norman asked the Sports Authority to let county firefighters share the job, which pays between $25 to $35 an hour. A typical Bucs game lasts between 4 to 7 hours.

Norman and the Hillsborough Firefighters union have said that county paramedics should get a piece of the Raymond James action since the county owns the stadium and pays two-thirds of the authority’s financial deficit.

The pre-emptive move by the county to hone in on what has been since its inception in 1998 as a job for city of Tampa workers also alarmed Council member Charlie Miranda. Miranda said the county was in danger of starting a war with the city.

Councilwoman Gwen Miller also criticized the county for its actions.

Council Chair Thomas Scott, who served on the County Commission for years before becoming a council member last year, also expressed concern.

County Attorney Smith intends to go before the County Commission next week.

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President, Hillsborough County Firefighters

The concerns apparently expressed by City officials is nothing more than an unqualified objection to an issue that many do not the entirety of the facts in this case. The City including attorney Smith have tried to redirect this argument away from the truth, and have obviously failed to do so successfully. The City is simply used to getting its way, but it won't in this regard. These jobs (roughly 15) are off duty part time positions. They are not City jobs! I wonder to what degree (cost) the City is willing to spend taxpayers money to chase 15 off duty part time jobs. Oh, and just for fun, all full time positions at the TSA are County positions under the HC Civil Service System.