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RFD's controversial dynamic staffing model becomes focus of heated meeting

July 08, 2019 11:41 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The Rochester Fire Department's controversial dynamic staffing model became the focus of a heated public meeting Monday night. 

City residents raised their concerns over dynamic staffing. It's an initiative to reduce overtime costs by closing a fire station for certain shifts. Any calls received during that time will be covered by the next closest engine. 

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However, the plan is only implemented, Deputy Mayor James Smith says, when too many firefighters call in sick. 

"When too many firefighters call in for a shift, we are for that 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 Smith. 

On Monday, the community called for an end to the plan, however, the city says it's not trying to put lives in danger, it's actually investing in the department. 

"We are going to continue to voice our opposition to dynamic staffing with the city. Support the community and speaking to the city and voicing their opposition and trying to get them to abolish the practice. We think it's dangerous," said Amy Ruffo, vice president of Rochester Firefighters Local IAFF 1071. 

Both sides agree there are more conversations to be had to come to a long-term solution. 

The City of Rochester says it has actually invested more in the department by adding a lieutenant and increasing funding by $600,000. 

WHECTV

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