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Port Chester Under Fire For Switch To Volunteer Department

Protests and legal wrangling continue over the decision by Port Chester leaders to lay off paid firefighters in favor of having an all-volunteer department.
Protests and legal wrangling continue over the decision by Port Chester leaders to lay off paid firefighters in favor of having an all-volunteer department. Photo Credit: Luke Lavoie

PORT CHESTER, N. Y. -- The battle over Port Chester's move to eliminate a paid fire department grew heated Monday as protestors descended on a village board meeting to tell officials that an all-volunteer force puts lives at risk, according to lohud.com.

A large crowd of union firefighters came out to protest the layoff of all eight of Port Chester's paid firefighters in a cost-saving move to change to a volunteer department.

Village officials made the decision May 2 to balance the budget by saving $800,000 in salary and other costs, lohud.com says.

But opponents say it was retaliation for criticism lodged against volunteer firefighters from paid firefighters over the handling of a March 3 fire at 40 Cottage St. The village of Rye Brook has also sued Port Chester, which provides fire service to Rye Brook, for breach of contract, lohud.com reports.

Click here to read The Journal News/lohud.com report .

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