Community prays to resolve health care cut crisis - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Community prays to resolve health care cut crisis

Many people joined police, firefighters, city workers and retirees in prayer Thursday night at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Many people joined police, firefighters, city workers and retirees in prayer Thursday night at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
He nearly lost his leg in 2003 when his fire truck collided with another fire truck on the way to a house fire. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) He nearly lost his leg in 2003 when his fire truck collided with another fire truck on the way to a house fire. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) – As Memphis city leaders look for a solution to the ongoing city worker health care cut crisis, the community is coming together in prayer.

The Memphis community wants the crisis that prompted the so-called "Blue Flu" and "Red Rash" resolved justly and peacefully.

Many people joined police, firefighters, city workers and retirees in prayer Thursday night at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. Clergy from several different religious traditions led the larger crowd in song and prayer.

Rabbi Micah Greenstein from Temple Israel said, "We cannot merely pray to God to solve our fiscal crisis. For God is waiting for us to use our heads, hearts and minds with love."

City leaders in attendance praised the community's effort to come together and say they're working on possible solutions.

Retired Memphis Fire Lieutenant Dennis Lorenz was also in the crowd. He nearly lost his leg in 2003 when his firetruck collided with another on the way to a house fire.

Lorenz says he was told he would not work again, but he fought hard and eventually came back to serve 10 more years. When he retired in 2014, he was devastated that the city decided to cut his benefits.

"The day I retired, the city sent a letter saying they were no longer responsible for my leg. The day I retired," he said.

Memphis CAO George Little said, "Clearly the only way we're gonna come through this is if we do so together ... the entire of the City of Memphis."

The city says a big part of the solution is a free health clinic for its employees, retirees, and families. Mayor A C Wharton says the contract with Cigna and Methodist Le Bonheur saves the city money. The grand opening is set for October 1.

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