Fire union President Rick Hoffman said his group would "fight tooth and nail" against additional cuts to the department.

"I don't think the public can afford any more fire cuts," said Hoffman. "The public will not be as safe as they're accustomed to being."

Department of Public Works officials did offer a glimmer of hope for residents of the cash-strapped city. A fee for bulk trash pickups, which was slated to be imposed in January, would be postponed, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Celeste Amato said the city would likely not begin charging to haul away large objects until at least July, when the new budget year begins.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

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steve.kilar@baltsun.com

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