Andre Esposito, chairman of Utica’s Civil Service Commission, believes the board has a tough decision to make within the next few months.
The commission is considering a request from Mayor Robert Palmieri to authorize an open competitive exam to vet candidates for Utica’s next fire chief. This would open up the test to internal and external candidates for a fire department historically led by internal promotion.
Esposito and Civil Service Commissioners Teresa Wojnas and Dietra Harvey will have to weigh that against the opinions of top fire officials in Utica and nearby cities as well as several local elected officials who believe the Utica Fire Department has enough worthy candidates within its ranks. Several of those dissenting opinions were voiced Thursday’s Civil Service Commission meeting.
The commission did not decide on the matter Thursday. The board will meet next Wednesday, Aug. 15.
A longtime firefighter started as a captain in the Oneonta Fire Department on Thursday.
J. Michael Mancini, 51, was promoted by the Oneonta Common Council last week.
Mancini has “great management skills” and is the department's lead fire investigator, according to Jim Maloney, assistant chief, who said Mancini's seniority and service as a crew leader also were factors leading to his promotion.
“He has a lot of good experience,” Maloney said Thursday.
Mancini succeeds Tom DiMartin, who retired recently after almost 35 years with OFD, Maloney said.
Mancini, an Oneonta town resident, was chosen among four in-house applicants interviewed for the captain position after Civil Service exam results were received, Maloney said.
Mancini had been at the top of the firefighter pay scale, earning a base salary of $55,109, according to city officials, who said base pay for a first-year captain is $59,475.
Oneonta Daily Star
Family members, friends and fellow firefighters of former Chief John “Jack” Schilt gathered last Sunday at the Franklin Square & Munson Firehouse on Liberty Place, in Franklin Square, to honor Schilt’s more than 60 years of service to the Fire Department with a new scholarship in his name.
With donations from the chief’s family, the John “Jack” Schilt Memorial Scholarship Fund will award $600 to a high school senior who is a child, sibling or grandchild of a current or former member of the department, or of the Exempt Association or Ladies Auxiliary. Members of Fire Service Exploring, a service-oriented branch of the Boy Scouts of America, are also eligible.
When a smoke alarm sounds, it’s imperative to “get out and stay out,” Esopus Fire Chief William Freer said Thursday.
Freer, who has been fighting fires for 20 years and works as a fire-prevention specialist for the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in Poughkeepsie, said a deadly blaze in Esopus on Tuesday was the “second fatal fire in our district that I’ve had to go through.”
More often than not, he said, people who die in fires hesitate before leaving, go back inside to retrieve property, fail to maintain smoke alarms or haven’t planned two safe escape routes.
According to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the man who died in the early morning house fire Tuesday at 719 Old Post Road remained in the structure to retrieve items after the smoke alarm went off.
Kingston Daily Freeman
A resident of a women’s homeless shelter in Queens was set on fire by her crazed roommate at the facility and left critically injured from the vicious attack, police said.
The horrific incident happened when the victim, 51, and a younger woman got into an argument around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on the third floor of Pam’s Place shelter — formerly the Verve Hotel on 29th Street in Long Island City, cops said.
The dispute went on for a few minutes before the aggressor dumped highly flammable nail polish remover on the victim and lit her ablaze, authorities said.
The victim was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in critical condition, according to officials.
Her attacker, described by cops as about 33 years old, 5 feet 7 and 130 pounds, fled and remains at large.
Police say the victim and the suspect know each other.
New York Post