Controversy over Canandaigua Fire Department funding, staffing

July 16, 2017 07:02 PM

Canandaigua's Mayor says politics are behind criticism of the city's fire department after Nolan's Restaurant burned down last week.

Some of the city's Republican leaders have been on Facebook questioning the department's manpower. It is something that Canandaigua's former fire chief spoke about to News10NBC by phone, giving an idea of how much the department has downsized.

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The former chief, Robert Case, says that before he retired in 2008, he worked to increase staffing, but in the 2010 budget the City Council reduced the amount of career firefighters, down from 15 to 6. 

Canandaigua's City Manager tells News10NBC that currently the City of Canandaigua Fire Department is staffed with two on-duty firefighter 24/7 and is supplemented by volunteers and off-duty firefighters when needed.

According to Case, though, the National Fire Protection Association Standard says that departments must have at least four firefighters on the scene within five minutes of the initial alarm. The current numbers are making it unsafe for firefighters and residents.

"The budget needs to be arranged to provide more funds for fire fighters so they need to at least get back to the strength that they were in 2008 when I retired," says Case.

"They really should have more people." 

Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni spoke to News10NBC but declined to go on Camera. She said the criticism from Republican is all politics. She reassures the public that they have a good service within the community and that this issue will be a top priority for the 2018 budget meeting in August. 


Nina Porciuncula

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