What I did to fix this problem rather than hard coding in the first page link:
I removed this line from tpl_footer.php:
Now the home link is gone but if you have a separator specified then it will show up before your first link. To fix that go into tpl_ezpages_bar_footer.php and change this line
<li><?php echo '<a href="' . HTTP_SERVER . DIR_WS_CATALOG . '">'; ?><?php echo HEADER_TITLE_CATALOG; ?></a></li>
<?php echo ($i <= $n ? EZPAGES_SEPARATOR_FOOTER : '') . "\n"; ?>
In another words the separator will only be displayed if the link is not the first or the last.
<?php echo ($i <= $n && $i != 1 ? EZPAGES_SEPARATOR_FOOTER : '') . "\n"; ?>