PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- The Port Chester Board of Trustees voted down a reinstatement of paid firefighters, confirming a shift to an all-volunteer fire department, according to lohud.com.
The fire department had included volunteers but was largely composed of paid firefighters at all four firehouses. An immediate impact of this move features two trucks that were driven by paid firefighters being taken out of service temporarily, according to lohud.com.
The town of Rye Brook sued Port Chester in May for a breach of contract as a result of a deal in which Rye Brook had been paying $1 million annually for a paid staff from Port Chester to work its stations overnight, according to lohud.com.
Officials have cited $80,000 in annual savings as the reason behind the move. They currently have 150 interior-trained and 150 exterior-trained volunteers. Village Trustees Greg Adams, Dennis Pilla and Luis Marino voted to reinstate the paid positions but were outnumbered by Trustees Dan Brakewood, Bart Didden, Gene Ceccarelli and Frank Ferrara, according to lohud.com.
Pilla had cited The SAFER Grant as a possible option and reasoning for his vote to reinstate. The SAFER grant, which stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, compensates New York state fire departments to keep them adequately equipped and staffed. The grant would cover two years and vaires in amount, according to lohud.com.