Canandaigua fire service changes set in motion

Several steps are being taken to address staffing in the Canandaigua Fire Department, while other suggestions to improve fire protection likely will take some time.

But a great deal of time, thought and work has been spent over the last year in studying the issue of providing fire service, Mayor Ellen Polimeni said — with some results now.

“I think there’s progress being made,” Polimeni said.

Members of City Council discussed staffing, as well as other recommendations made in a $50,000 fire service study, during a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night scheduled, in part, to help determine the next steps for the department.

Also firmed up somewhat is the commitment from the town of Canandaigua to help fund additional paid firefighters beyond 2019, and the opportunity to pursue grant money to bring in more staff.

Earlier this month, City Council adopted a 2019 spending plan that includes funding for two new firefighters, the $200,000 cost split evenly with the town.

The city is working with a proposed staffing plan that would hire three more firefighters in 2020 and three more in 2021, which would result in a roster of 18 firefighters and having the study’s recommended number of four per shift, with structural overtime.

During budget deliberations; however, several councilmembers seemed intent on settling in at 15, which is disturbing to Councilmember Bob Palumbo, who is trying to hire more firefighters sooner.

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