PRESCOTT, Ariz. – The Arizona city where an elite firefighting team was based banded together after 19 of the team's firefighters died in a wildfire.
That unity has quickly faded after residents learned the city wasn't paying full-time benefits to all of the families of the firefighters who died on June 30.
City leaders are receiving both vicious emails and ones commending them for not letting emotion get in the way. Grieving widows have lashed out at city leaders in public meetings, news conferences and national TV appearances.
The source of the dispute is the fact that 13 of the firefighters were classified as temporary employees and not entitled to full survivors' benefits. As a result, they receive smaller death benefits than the families of the six firefighters classified as full-time.