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Public forum held on firefighter shortage in Canandaigua

Local News
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Rebecca Flynn Ames is the daughter of fallen Canandaigua volunteer firefighter David Flynn.
 
“He passed away in 1978. My sister was born two weeks later. He was a young man and a volunteer firefighter.”
 
Ames, along with many inside a meeting Tuesday night, listened to the Center for Public Safety Management’s findings about issues in the Canandaigua Fire Department. 
 
One of the biggest issues: the study found a lack of volunteer firefighters.
The Canandaigua Fire Chief said currently, the department has less than 10 full-time regular firefighters and six volunteers.
 
Between both fire stations in the city, only two of the on-duty paid staff work daily. 
 
Tuesday night, the center recommended that be doubled and volunteer recruitment efforts be ramped up, in order to keep the area safe. 
 
The study, paid for by the town and city, says staffing is “substandard and provides a false sense of security.” 
 
The city responded by saying their next steps are to discuss the recommended changes, but the list of changes is long and costly, so News 8 asked if taxpayers would be impacted.
 
“That could include raising taxes,” Mayor Ellen Polimeni said. 
 
News 8 also asked the mayor why this hadn’t been done earlier. Critics argued the issues have been longstanding.
 
“At that time, we had more volunteers that were active,” she explained. 
 
Flynn-Ames said she feels none of the answers the city gave satisfy her or do her father any justice.
 
“If they can’t honor his memory by ensuring there are enough people on a call to keep firefighters safe, I’ll come down here with a hammer and chisel and I’ll take his memorial off the wall.”

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