Amsterdam firefighters concerned about staffing shortage
Firefighters in Amsterdam are concerned about the current staffing shortage facing the city right now. According to the Michael Demars, the professional firefighters union president, they missed a 911 call Friday.
Demars says they used to always have six firefighters working a day. He says that number was a standard set by OSHA. However, he says the city had some financial hardships, so a previous administration had to make some cuts.
He says when you have five firefighters, it takes one unit out of service. That means they have two units instead of three.
On Friday, a medical call came in, and the two units were at other calls. GAVAC, the ambulance company, had to provide mutual aid.
Demars is concerned because he believes things could have been worse if GAVAC had been tied up. He wants the city to restore the sixth firefighter.
David Gomula represents the 2nd ward in the city. He says the council and the mayor will most likely come together to discuss the issue.
"There’s a lot of problems that they do have in this city. We’re happy if they take the rest of the revenue that they have in this city they generate to do whatever they need to do to balance their budgets to make this city a better place to live, but we need to be staffed to," said Demars.
"If they need it, we’ll give it to them. Safety first. You know we can’t have enough firemen, have a big fireman somewhere and people are trapped," said Gomula.
We did reach out to the mayor for comment, but did not hear back yet. The council is set to meet again on Nov. 16.