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Burn survivor to discuss dynamic staffing with Rochester mayor, fire chief

July 11, 2019 09:25 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The debate about dynamic staffing in the Rochester Fire Department is about to get personal for one local woman.

On Tuesday, Mayor Lovely Warren and Fire Chief Will Jackson will meet with the Finger Lakes Burn Association and Katie Ogg, a burn survivor.

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A fire swept through her family's home in Chili back in January 2013.

"I will never be able to thank them. There is no words. How do you thank someone who saved your child," Ogg told News10NBC in May 2013.

She, her two kids, and her mother-in-law got trapped. Firefighters raced to get them out — and they did — but the family still suffered severe burns. Ogg says their hospital bills topped $6 million.

Even though the fire was in Chili, she is going to Rochester City Hall to talk about her financial burden and what could happen if there's an emergency in other communities. 

Ogg is joining a fire union and other neighbors calling for an end to dynamic staffing. The policy allows the city to close a fire station for certain shifts. Any calls received during that time get covered by the next closest station. Critics say it is putting lives at risk.

"When too many firefighters call in for a shift, we are — for that one night only —  taking a company offline. That company is backed up by other companies. We use the system we do and have used for decades," said Rochester Deputy Mayor James Smith.

The city claims dynamic staffing will save taxpayers more than $1 million, but the Rochester Firefighters Association calls it dangerous.

The union and neighborhood groups will hold another meeting Tuesday to talk about the issue. It is happening at union headquarters at 65 Hudson Ave. at 2 p.m.

WHECTV

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