The city of Watertown officially broke its contract with the fire department yesterday. The directive came out last week, but went into effect Sunday.
Three current councilmembers were reportedly in favor of the decision. And with that majority rule, Chief Dale Herman can no longer call for backup if three or fewer firefighters call in sick.
It's a way to bypass stalled contract talks and change the minimum staffing level to 13 instead of 15, a number in the current contract.
Also, because of the changes, the heavy rescue truck was taken out of use on Saturday.