The Week In Review-The Weekend Ahead

Funding Helps Save About 17 City Firefighter Jobs

A rubbish fire broke out on Ann Street in the City of Newburgh this week in the back of a grocery store, Broadway Farm. A number of cardboard boxes caught fire. The cause of the blaze was unclear as of Thursday afternoon. However, a state-wide brush burning ban, issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation, is in effect from March 16 until May 14 due to dry, spring weather conditions that create a concoction for unusually high fire risks in our area. (photo by E. Smith)

The jobs of 17 City of Newburgh firefighters have been saved, an announcement from Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on July 27 said.

Maloney secured slightly more than $2 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds that will help the city’s fire department continue to be “fully staffed,” he said. The money comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or Safer, program.

“With this grant not only have we avoided layoffs, but we now have the manning to keep our firefighters at safe levels,” City of Newburgh Fire Chief Terry Ahlers said in a statement. “We will now have the people to keep our crews large enough to help avoid injuries, get our hoselines in place quicker to keep fires smaller, and the ability to work more efficiently to get to victims in time.”

The department would have been forced to lay of 17 firefighters if the money wasn’t secured, according to Maloney. The department will now also be able to hire six new firefighters, which will raise the force of the department to approximately 70 members, he said.

“Since my first days on the job I’ve worked hand-in-glove with our local Newburgh Fire Department to ensure they have the manpower, resources, and equipment needed to do their jobs safely and protect our families,” Maloney said.

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