Spencerport fire commissioners make case for paid fire chief at $150K

Spencerport fire commissioners make case for paid fire chief at $150K

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SPENCERPORT, N.Y. — People in Spencerport were speaking out Thursday night over plans to hire a full-time paid fire chief.

The proposed salary? $150,000.

The Board of Fire Commissioners held a public hearing about it Thursday. It was a packed house, with nearly every seat full as people took the podium to ask questions over the chief’s proposed salary and the future of volunteer firefighters in the district.

The commissioners made their case explaining why a paid fire chief is needed.

“We are expecting our volunteer fire chief to manage a hundred people. Our roster allows 110. Almost any agency around us cannot even put 100 people, career and volunteer, into their organization. So we are looking at how many people this person is going to have manage on top of the call volume,” Commissioner Joe Muniz said.

But some concerned residents took to the mic to voice their concerns over the proposed $150,000 salary.

Fire board commissioners pointed to the salaries of other fire chiefs in the area during the presentation to say their proposed salary is not out of bounds. They included all-career departments in Rochester ($152,466), Ridge Road ($145,471) and Batavia ($100,480) and several that are combinations of career and volunteer personnel, with chief salaries ranging from $185,501 (Henrietta) to Lake Shore ($122,442).

“Most of those agencies you have almost a full career department. maybe primarily career with some volunteer supplemental staff,” Muniz said.