Jamestown’s Fire Department Could Get A Big Personnel Boost

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Jamestown Fire Department could soon get a big boost in personnel thanks in part to an almost $2 million dollar federal grant that aims to help quell the ever growing emergency medical response demand. 

The City of Jamestown received $1.8 million dollars as part of a FEMA Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant. 

Fire Chief Matthew Coon tells us the funding will be used to hire eight new firefighters.

 “Any type of fire for somebody in our business, is one to many,” explained Chief Coon. “So the more that we can do to try to bring that number down even lower, the better that is. The second point though, to address the EMS crisis, most certainly that is where our biggest need is at the current moment.”     

With the grant, the positions will be funded for a three year period.

“We do have an active civil service list that’s valid,“ stated Chief Coon. “Once we’re approved to move forward by the administration and council, we will send out canvas letters to everybody that is on that list in order to seek candidates. We’re still going to be seeking people that are already emergency medical technicians, that’s kind of a term of a requirement that we have in order to be appointed. And then certainly we will have to work through the obstacles to get them all trained to the minimum firefighting standards for New York State.        

Currently, there is not enough personnel to staff both the ladder truck and ambulance. 

With the remaining American Rescue Plan Act dollars, Chief Matthew Coon hopes the city will purchase a second ambulance to help respond to the ever growing numbers of EMS calls. 

“Our hope is that we could go to bid for an ambulance as soon as we receive allocated funding to do so,“ explained Chief Coon. “There are specific dealerships that certainly would be able to bid on such a project once we’re to that point. And we’re hoping that the delivery will be, to my best hope and intention, before June.”  

Before applications can be accepted, as a formality Jamestown City Council will vote to accept the funding and temporarily drop the city’s current hiring freeze.

In addition to the nearly $2 million dollars, the fire department also just received another $284,000 dollar grant to purchase new radios and emergency bailout gear. 


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