ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The first night of dynamic staffing in city firehouses went into effect on Monday and the Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods coalition was there to voice their concern.
Dynamic staffing was introduced in the city’s 2019-2020 budget as a way to save money. The practice means that some firehouses will eliminate a shift, and firefighters will be relocated to other stations in the area.
“The firefighters, they create a dynamic of working together, with each other building trust and relations and now that is put at risk because every shift they never know which firehouse is gonna be closed,” Jonathan Hardin, chair of Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods.
Residents were downtown Monday protesting cuts to the Monroe Avenue Fire station. The fire station usually covers overnight fires, but closed from 6 p.m. through 8 a.m. on Monday.
Residents on Monroe Avenue came out to protest the practice. One resident is afraid that this means calls times will be longer as trucks will have to travel greater distances.
“They’re keeping people safe, they’re rescuing people out of homes, cars, they do a lot. So why would they cut them when they’re so busy around here? They should never have cut them,” said Emmanuel James, a downtown Rochester resident.
The Rochester Firefighter’s Association released a statement, saying in part:
“The Rochester Firefighters union has grave concerns about the implementation of the City’s “dynamic staffing” program, which will “brown out”, or take out of service, some fire houses for selected periods of time. The impact of this practice will be to increase response times, which as a result needlessly places citizens and businesses in our community, as well as firefighters, at greater risk.”
A community meeting will be held July 8th at 5:30 p.m. at the Lyell Branch Library.