New Firefighter Debate Sparks Public Outcry

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – An ongoing issue in the city of Jamestown has sparked a public outcry as frustrations are growing high. Many feel their voices are not being heard. 

Understaffing in local fire departments is not anything new, and yesterday evening a group largely made up of the city’s fire department and city safety advocates, took to city hall in hopes of getting a solution.

“I just want to remind everyone that government is not a business. Financial is very important but it’s not everything, especially when we’re given three years for the city council to figure out how to either afford these firefighters or decide what needs to happen after that. Regular everyday citizens are not to decide what services need to be cut and we all want a safer Jamestown,” said a concerned resident.

City Council President Tony Dolce assures the public that this matter is a work in progress.

“The timeline is, we have tonight’s work session. It was on the agenda for finance, and we’ll briefly discuss that and if there are any questions to come up we have another work session next Monday, then on Tuesday we will be calling a special meeting,” said President Dolce. 

The Council President wants to make sure that all bases are covered before committing to a final decision.

“The council has put together a list of concerns and questions about the grant that they submitted to FEMA, FEMA then is compiling that. We’re going to meet with them next Tuesday via Zoom here at 4 p.m in the mayor’s conference room. They’re going to address our questions and if there are any other additional questions that the council so that we can get all of the answers before we make a decision,” said President Dolce.

In the end, many pledge to continue fighting for a safer Jamestown.

“Our message has been clear and simple, we’ve been understaffed for many years and the demand for service continues to increase every year,” explained President of the Jamestown Firefighters, Ben McLaughlin.  “We will continue to advocate for a safer Jamestown for our citizens and our firefighters.”

The city will be distributing notices for Tuesday’s special meeting, and invites the public to continue to share their concerns. Anyone with questions is advised to contact their city council representative. 


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