New York News

Friday, November 16, 2018

FDNY retaliated against two EMS lieutenants upset over a new pilot program, labor board rules

Top Fire Department brass retaliated against two emergency medical services lieutenants due to their “union activity,” a labor board ruled, the Daily News has learned. FDNY Lt. Douglas Rondon was “totally restricted” from duty for an entire year after he reached out to his union president for assistance on potential disciplinary charges. At the same time, the union was upset with the FDNY over the department’s new Paramedic Response Unit, which pairs a paramedic with a paramedic lieutenant. The so-called “Fly-Car” pilot program, first launched in the Bronx in 2016, uses FDNY SUVs with advanced-life-support equipment. It is designed to increase response times to emergency scenes.
New York Daily News

Schenectady Fire Department gets bullet proof vests

Bulletproof vests are now apart of the Schenectady Fire Department's gear. "We had the opportunity to get these vests as an added layer of protection for our members, so that we can go on these things and have a little bit added layer of protection," said Michael Gillespie, Assistant Fire Chief. The department spent $45,000 for 45 vests and helmets. Since the vests will be shared, they adjust to fit each person. "We will not go into a hot or warm zone where there is known to be active shooting or some type of disturbance," explained Gillespie. "Like we have always done in Schenectady Fire Department, if there is a potential for domestic violence, we stage for local law enforcement to arrive on the scene to make sure that scene is safe." The assistant fire said he believes these vests are necessary for this day in age.
News10 ABC Albany

Halfmoon-Waterford Fire district reveals plans to replace station house

The main fire station for the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District No.1 is 52 years old and the department’s fire commissioners are seeking approval from voters to build a new one. The commissioners held a public hearing on the capital project Nov. 8 at the station, 315 Middletown Road, Halfmoon. The public meeting drew around 70 residents. The Halfmoon-Waterford Volunteer Fire Department which is based out of the station is a mainstay for fire protection and emergency services for the fast-growing community. According to the department’s fire commissioners, something needs to be done to the building to better accommodate today’s larger fire trucks and help the firefighters who work out of the building. They are asking for voters’ help in overcoming the aging building’s deficiencies. The department’s coverage area is 14-square-miles which has 18,000 residents. The fire company has 45 active members who respond to 800 calls a year.
Clifton Park Community News

Yonkers firefighters deliver baby in snowstorm

Amid the commuting chaos caused by Thursday night's snowstorm, Yonkers firefighters delivered a baby boy in a home. An ambulance couldn't reach the family because of the extreme weather and poor driving conditions, so Yonkers firefighters took matters into their own hands. Engine 307 — consisting of Captain Anthony Porco, Firefighter Brian Dunn, Firefighter Brian Mulqueen and Firefighter Jonavy Arias — delivered the baby at 6:22 p.m., cut the umbilical cord and provided care to the baby and mother, who are doing well, Yonkers fire department said. The ambulance arrived five minutes after the baby was delivered, according to the Yonkers Fire Department.
NY Journal News (

96-year-old man survives Delmar house fire

Schuyler Hatt is still wondering how his 96 year-old father in-law survived a fire that worked it's way to the top of Alan Miller's home on Dumbarton Drive. "He's an amazing man, but he's just suffered an amazing loss,” Hatt says.Hatt says his Miller was the only one inside when the fire started. Firefighters say the 96 year-old suffered minor burns, but should survive. Hatt says that's all that matters. "This man's my hero. You can't replace somebody like that,” he says. But now he's trying to keep Miller from looking at this saddening sight. He's wondering how Miller will recover. "He's gonna have to put his life back together at 96, which is something I can't even fathom,” Hatt says. Several fire departments battled the blaze that they say got an hour head start before they arrived. They say it likely started near the garage. The two cars in the garage helped feed the flames as they spread up to the next floor.
WRGB-TV CBS 6 Schenectady

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Utica officials reaffirm assistant fire chief’s appointment

Faced with the threat of a legal challenge, the City of Utica Municipal Civil Service Commission reaffirmed the appointment of a once-retired Utica Fire Department assistant chief to his former position. Assistant Chief George Clark retired in April after more than 30 years with the department but returned at Mayor Robert Palmieri’s request after Palmieri appointed current assistant chief Scott Ingersoll to provisional fire chief to fill that vacancy. The commission granted the mayor’s request last month and reinstated Clark. That reinstatement, however, was found improper since Ingersoll technically still holds the position of assistant chief, thereby requiring the Civil Service Commission to convert Clark’s reinstatement to a temporary appointment. Members did so unanimously Wednesday after they were warned of potential legal action by Thomas Carcone, president of the Utica Professional Firefighters union.
Utica Observer-Dispatch

State audit cites New Hyde Park Fire District for payroll, OT lapses of more than $183G

Officials in the New Hyde Park Fire District failed to properly authorize and approve nearly all overtime or doubletime hours paid out and did not review or approve 79 percent of timecards totaling more than $170,000 in gross pay, according to an 18-month audit by the state comptroller's office. The report, released Thursday, states that supervisors also did not document their reasons for adjusting $4,451 worth of payroll hours, and that 91 percent of the overtime or doubletime hours that were paid out but not approved totaled $7,833. The fire district had a $693,000 budget in 2017 for salaries among its 26 employees, according to audit data. Eight of those employees work at district headquarters on Jericho Turnpike. “We reviewed seven months of timecards for those eight employees,” auditors wrote in their report. “We found that a direct supervisor did not review or approve 244 [out of 309] of the timecards, totaling $171,092 in gross salary payments.”

Town of Oneonta passes budget, establishes fire district

The Town of Oneonta approved its 2019 budget in a board meeting Wednesday night. The council members also established the Oneonta Fire Protection District by unanimous vote. The district will be identical to the prior Town of Oneonta Fire District, which was dissolved on Nov. 2 after a 3-2 vote by its commissioners. The budget includes a 5.5 percent tax levy to fund the construction of a Department of Public Works highway garage. Town Supervisor Robert Wood once again stated the necessity of the garage and said while this tax levy exceeds the 2 percent tax cap, it will result in an increase of 14 cents per thousand on a home's tax evaluation, or $14 on a $100,000 home. The budget passed with one dissent from Board Member Patricia Riddell Kent, who said she supports the DPW garage but was hoping the board could “tighten the belt” in other areas to mitigate the tax increase.
Oneonta Daily Star

Failed 911 calls have Albany County legislators seeking answers to lack of cell service

Can you hear me now? If you’re in parts of Bethlehem, Cohoes and Colonie – probably not. Recommended Video Albany County Legislator Joseph O’Brien, a Colonie resident, said he lives about a quarter-mile from a cellphone tower on Old Niskayuna Road, but oftentimes he has no cell service. Other times calls are dropped. In neighboring Latham, Legislator Paul Burgdorf experiences the same issues. Remember when the blue screen of death indicated your computer was on the fritz? “Today there is a new screen of death, and it’s 911 call failure,” Burgdorf said while holding up a screenshot of a cellphone that failed to dial 911. “I will tell you that over the years in my home the cell system has degraded to the point where if you call 911, or your neighbor, there is a 50 percent chance your call will be dropped.”
Albany Times-Union

Fire damages businesses in Yonkers

Fire damaged a string of stores at the corner of Yonkers and Central avenues in Yonkers overnight. Fire officials say they first got the call just before 11 p.m. on Tuesday. They say it appears the fire started in Smoke City, a cigar and vape store, then spread into the cockloft, the area that's in between the ceiling and attic. Once inside the cockloft, the flames spread to other stores in the one-story building. Three more stores suffered either fire or smoke damage but crews were able to beat back the flames and prevent the building from burning down. About 55 firefighters worked the two-alarm fire and they were able to get the blaze under control in just over an hour.
News 12 Westchester

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