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Jamestown Fire Union stresses "dangerous" staffing levels on billboard

Posted at 9:44 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 14:07:08-04

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — As you drive around Jamestown, you might notice new billboards highlighting what first responders in the area are calling "dangerously low staffing levels." The billboards were put up by the Jamestown Professional Firefighters Union.

The billboards have a photo of an ambulance and a photo of a fire truck, and say "you shouldn't have to choose." The union is referring to the fact that under current staffing levels in the city, the first responders who staff the ambulance are the same people who staff the fire department's ladder truck. That means when the crew is on an ambulance call, the ladder truck isn't available to respond to a fire. The post by the union goes on to say, "Not only does this create an even more extreme shortage of personnel to fight the fire, the ladder truck contains valuable equipment necessary for the safety of our firefighters and citizens that won’t be on scene at the fire."

In an interview last month, the president of the union told 7 Eyewitness News, ""Mayor [Sam] Teresi's long standing policy, and how he staffs his fire department have put us in this position." You can read that article here.

At a recent City Council meeting, the mayor said the fire department is only supposed to be a backup ambulance service.

The post by the Jamestown firefighters goes on to ask people to "vote for a safer Jamestown this fall."