Amsterdam firefighters miss calls, staff blame union president

AMSTERDAM, NY (NEWS10) – Since Friday, Amsterdam firefighters have missed two calls, according to the department’s union president. Due to limitations in the number of firefighters that can work in shifts, the service relies on outside entities to answer calls if all units in Amsterdam are dispatched. Sometimes, however, these outside agencies, called self-help societies, are not always available.

“Between 3 am and 4 am there were three EMS calls,” said Michael Demars, president of Amsterdam Professional Firefighter, of a missed call on Friday, November 5th. “We only had two units in service because that’s where the cutbacks come into play. We were unable to answer the third call. Someone called 911 and they needed our help and we couldn’t. “

Demars says that due to budget cuts several years ago, the previous city administration imposed a limit of five firefighters per shift. The department has room for eight people, he said.

Demars says he’s not looking for city hall to add more positions, but rather for the city to allow the department to fully staff the positions it already has available per shift. Even if that means adding one more firefighter. With regard to fire fighting and entry, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that there must be at least “two people” outside “(on standby) (in addition to the minimum of two people on standby). necessary to fight the fire) must be present before the firefighters can enter the building “.

“Once you replace us and commit to having our six units a day and our three units up and running, they can use the rest of that income to fix whatever problems they are having. [city hall] Needs). Take care of what they need, but we must be taken care of for our safety and that of the citizens of Amsterdam, ”explains Demars.

The reason Demars mentions six a day is that if there are multiple calls, two can go with the ambulance service while the other four can respond to a fire and get in if possible.

Mayor Michael Cinquanti said he had not had the opportunity to discuss the service’s missing calls with his fire chief. The mayor told News10 that he is working with the leader to craft a plan that “all parties feel safer and more content with and that we can be sure we can afford not only to maintain, but also for a long time to come. future”.

After the ministry missed a call on Friday, Demars took to the union’s Facebook page to explain the situation.


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