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More criticism of the way Canandaigua is handling public safety

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More criticism of the way Canandaigua is handling public safety.  A firefighters union there says the city’s solution to a recent dramatic drop in volunteers could throw money in the wrong direction.

Fire protection for Canandaigua depends on 16 people. Nine are paid firefighters. The seven others are volunteers, like Eric Cooper, who have to split their time with their day job. 

“It’s kind of unfortunate, being that I’m one of the few active volunteer fire fighters in the city, is that I can’t be there when my meetings are at night or during the work day,” Cooper said.

Jay Boock, President of the Canandaigua Firefighter Union, calls the current staffing dangerous and wants more manpower. 

“You gotta build this up together,” said Boock.

Canandaigua’s City Manager John Goodwin responded to recent criticism by saying they’re looking to hire a Deputy Fire Chief to recruit more volunteers. 

“Why don’t I replace the secretary position with someone who is interior qualified and can fight fires and also assist with the administrative role,” explained Goodwin.

But Boock says the job description doesn’t require all the training necessary to fight fires.
He doesn’t understand the point of hiring someone who can’t go inside a burning house. 

“For the cost of the Deputy Fire Chief position, they could hire a firefighter and a part time secretary. That would give us enough firefighters for the whole annual schedule and that would still give you your office administration,” said Boock.

Goodwin says his intent is to hire someone that has the full training. He says adding more paid firefighters would simply cost too much money.

Concerns over fire safety in Canandaigua took center stage last year after a fire burned down the popular restaurant, Nolan’s.

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