JAMESTOWN – Four new firefighters and improvements to fire stations were approved by Jamestown lawmakers, this after the initial plan was voted down earlier in the year.
Jamestown’s City Council okayed the hiring agreement with the firefighter’s union Monday night.
The union contract, now funded through ARPA funds, was originally shot down by city council back in January.
With the Firefighter’s agreement fulfilled, the city now has no outstanding contracts with any unions, a goal that city officials have been working towards for years.
“We’re glad to have that back behind us,“ explained Council President Tony Dolce. “I’m sure they are as well, with all the different units being under contract, it’s nice to have that out of the way. Along with the Administration council is pleased to be able to move forward and have all those contracts passed.”
While four of the new members are funded through American Rescue Plan Act funds, Jamestown Fire Chief Mathew Coon tells us a fifth member, that is replacing a retired firefighter, will join the quartet in training. That firefighter is funded through the 2022 general fund budget.
“All five members will be attending recruit firefighter training,“ stated Chief Coon. “Our previous three that graduated, just graduated less than two weeks ago. This group will be heading out Sunday evening, July 31st, their classes begin August 1st. Their graduation day will be on Veterans day, November 11th, it’s a 15 week program now.”
The trainees have been shadowing crews currently on the job, before official training begins.
“This is like a clean slate for them to learn how to do this,“ explained Chief Coon. “In accepting this job they really agreed to do something that’s going to change their life forever.”
“It’s really about building teamwork and trusting each other,“ says Chief Coon. “Because as firefighters that’s what we do, is rely on each other.
Improvements to Jamestown’s Fire Stations, some of which are centuries old buildings, are also included in the approved funding packages. With improvements like new flooring, doors, and some backup generators.
“Our buildings are some of the oldest in the city,“ explained Chief Coon. “I believe that the stations are still in the best possible locations that they can be, the layout of Jamestown has not changed since those buildings were built.”
The vote for the new contract was unanimously approved, except for City Councilwoman At-Large Kim Eckland, who abstained because her husband is a retired firefighter.