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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – One month from now, a new batch of firefighters will gear up in Jamestown, joining the ranks of the Jamestown Fire Department.
It’s all part of an effort to improve public safety within the city. At the end of May, the Jamestown City Council hired four new police officers, four new firefighters, and okayed the purchase of a new ambulance for the department.
While the ambulance’s acquisition is still some time out, the new firefighters are currently in training, and are expected to graduate next month.
“We get weekly reports from the academy staff,“ explained Jamestown Fire Chief Matthew Coon. “That keeps us advised of how our recruits are performing while they’re out there. They’re doing very well, and I’m very much looking forward to bringing them on.”
Once the quartet graduates on Veterans Day, the department will have a total of 60 firefighters on staff.
While that may seem like a lot of firefighters, Fire Chief Matt Coon doesn’t think that number will last.
“There’s always change going on and recruitment is something we take very seriously,“ stated Chief Coon. “So the sooner we can start that process, the sooner we can get those vacancies filled before members retire.”
Recently, the Jamestown Police Department has run into problems recruiting, having used up their civil service list. For the Fire Department, recruitment has not been as difficult.
“I believe we have had a little less difficulty than the police department has had in recent times,“ explained Chief Coon. “We do have a valid civil service list, we still have eager candidates on that list, so it’s my hope as we move forward that our recruitment drive will still be very successful.”
The department also faces other troubles like the dire need for EMS workers, and the lack of equipment. Currently, the department has one ambulance for the entire city, while there are plans to get another one, the process has proven more difficult to do.
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