Troy fire victim speaks out about firefighters staffing shortages

The president of the Troy Uniform Firefighters Association is speaking out again, about staffing shortages. At this point, he said it’s a matter of life and death.

Just last week a fire victim was rescued from a burning fire. The victim, Rick Ferris and his family said he’s fortunate to be alive, but the city can’t continue to rely on luck. “Everybody here knows where the ambulance comes from, but I have to wait naked, sitting on a cast iron chair for another fire company or another ambulance company to come from another town. That’s disgusting,” said Ferris.

Troy’s Public Safety Chair, Sue Steele told attendees the meeting was informational and not open for public discussion, but she did let Ferris and his sister speak.

During his comment, Ferris set the record straight, and dismissed claims that he told firefighters on the scene he was good. “I didn’t say I was fine. I didn’t say I was ok, I was in freaking shock, he said. So whoever told you that, was inaccurate. I wanted to make sure everybody else in that building was out. I’m out. I’m coughing I’m gagging.”

Ferris thanked Troy Fire Chief Eric McMahon for the work the firefighters played in saving his life, but he stood by his comments that things have to change.

Ferris’s sisters Jeanne Carras and Lori Ferris said they’re grateful their brother is alive, but it’s unfortunate they had to rely on a volunteer ambulance from another agency to come in. “It’s scary that they don’t have the staffing to one put out the fire and treat the people on scene that need medical attention,” said Lori Ferris. “Thankfully my brother is alive and if was someone who was perhaps burned, I mean his smoke inhalation was bad enough, but if you’ve got a severe burn victim, you can’t leave them out with no help,” said Carras.

Eric Wisher president of the Troy Uniform Firefighters Association said they requested the public safety meeting to keep medics free on duty at night, but he was told there’s no money. “It’s a public safety issue because it’s delaying care and transport to hospitals. A lot of calls are timeframes that people should be in the hospital,” said Wisher.

After the meeting, Chief McMahon said he looks forward to everyone working together to find solutions.