Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Di Vito denied a request this afternoon from Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters for an injunction to stop Mayor Nutter's plan to close seven fire companies next Monday.

Local 22, in a legal action launched two weeks ago, said the elimination of five fire engines and two ladder trucks would endanger the lives of firefighters and city residents.  The union argued that a grievance it filed with the city on Dec. 3 about the company closings should be considered before any action is taken.

Nutter's plan will not lay off any firefighters or close any fire stations.  Instead, firefighters staffing the seven companies will be reassigned to other duties, saving the city $10.4 million a year in overtime costs.  The closures are part of a larger plan to close a $1 billion-plus gap in the city's five-year financial plan.

Local 22 also asked the state Supreme Court two weeks ago to intervene. That court is due to hear in March a Local 22 appeal of a 2007 ruling that struck from the union's 2005 contract a requirement for an independent study before fire companies are closed.  The Supreme Court has not ruled on that request.