Engine 3 in the City of Tonawanda is facing some major issues. The firefighters union says they do not have enough manpower to fight fires.
The full-time firefighters are racking up thousands of dollars in overtime and it’s unclear if the city has enough money in their budget to pay for the shortfalls.
“You’re only guaranteed to have five people show up to a fire, we rely heavily on the off duty guys and the volunteers,” said Dennis Angelo, Local 859 union president.
The lack of firefighters comes after two firefighters retired last year, leaving the city with only 24 full-time firefighters.
In 2015, a similar situation unraveled when there wasn’t enough manpower to staff the firehouse.
It's long past midnight in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and firefighter Mark Merrell of Engine 255 is explaining to me why medals aren't important and being called a hero doesn't matter all that much.
"What you try to achieve is for somebody to say, 'you're a good fireman.' That's probably the biggest compliment you can get," he says. "And that don't come easy."
The firehouse kitchen erupts in laughter. Mark smiles, because it's a tough crowd and he knows I know that. But I'm spending twenty-four hours with the firefighters of Engine Company 255 and Ladder Company 157 -- one of the busiest firehouses in New York - and I'm ready for pretty much anything.
The FDNY granted us total access and even provided a chase car with lights, siren and a driver.
Eyewitness News photographer Josh Hartmann and I followed them on virtually every run. There was just one restriction: Don't show the cooking. Why? "It's corny," they told me. (But the chicken marsala was excellent, I have to say.)
Two children reported trapped in a burning building were declared dead later, and a man was hospitalized with burns after a fire on Dehning Road in the town early Friday, authorities said.
A boy, 1, and a girl, 3, died, the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services said.
Authorities withheld the victims’ names Friday and said the cause of the blaze at the four-unit apartment building is under investigation.
State police at Oneonta confirmed that two children were declared dead at the scene. An adult was taken to Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse for burns, troopers said.
Fifty to 60 firefighters from multiple fire departments responded to the call for the blaze in the East Meredith Fire District, which was reported at about 1:45 a.m., officials said.
“When you left East Meredith, you could see the glow in the sky,” according to David Briggs, chief of the East Meredith Fire Department.
Oneonta Daily Star
A rookie firefighter’s date night dinner with his pregnant wife turned into a chance to save a life when a man started choking at a table in front of him.
Stephen Cresci, 33, was having dinner at Da Noi, a popular Italian restaurant on Staten Island, on Friday night — “one last hurrah before the baby” — he explained Monday. His wife, Jennifer, is due Feb. 27.
The couple finished their dinners and were about to start in on dessert, two tortonis, when Cresci said he heard someone in distress.
Neighboring diner Juan Camacho was choking on a piece of lamb.
“I just knew this guy was choking,” the Engine 163 firefighter said. He tried to talk to the man, who turned red and started wheezing.
So Cresci jumped into action, performed the Heimlich maneuver, and with one thrust under his rib cage, dislodged a chunk of meat.
New York Daily News
For years, the Belleville Fire Department had 2 stations: Station 1 and Station 2 right across the street. But, space is tight.
"It was getting difficult to put all of our apparatus in there. And we had an offer to purchase that property so we sold that property," said Vince Guarrera, station improvement committee.
So now the fire department is looking to build a new 2 bay station right next door to its main station, where a vacant house currently sits.
Guarrera says the department is currently in talks to acquire the property. It's all in hopes of getting to the scene of an emergency more efficiently.
"We need to get all of our apparatus to the scene as quickly as possible and safely as possible. By having the station here on site, our officers are able to quickly see which apparatus have already left the station and are on scene and are able to direct the remaining apparatus safely to the scene," he said.
WWNY-TV 7 Fox 28
State Senator Pam Helming announced millions in grant awards to the six counties she represents to enhance emergency communications for police, fire, and EMS. This funding will help local first responders expand their ability to communicate and respond more quickly to emergencies. “At a time when natural disasters and emergency situations are becoming increasingly frequent and more severe, it is more important than ever that we do all we can to support our local law enforcement and first responders. Providing our counties with the necessary resources and most modern communication technology will allow them to respond as quickly as possible and will help keep our first responders safe as they do their work,” Sen. Helming explained.