Palm Beach County firefighters protesting budget proposal, possible cuts

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Decked in gold shirts and holding signs, more than a hundred firefighters protested possible cuts to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Tuesday.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue firefighters filled not only the chambers, but also the atrium area of the county commission chambers.

They're protesting a budget proposal that would force them not to fill 102 vacant firefighter positions in 2013.

Chief Steven Jerauld, who presented the future budget to commissioners, said he projected a $23 million deficit in the 2013 fiscal year.

In 2012, he said they faced a $12 million shortfall and in 2011 faced a $6.5 million deficit.

In 2011, the department didn't fill 31 vacant positions due to a tight budget.

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