Dozens of Firefighters Picket Newburgh Council Meeting
By Edie Johnson
They lined Newburgh streets surrounding the Activity Center, they picketed in front of the building during the council session, and they stood quietly in their red shirts during the lengthy meeting.
Several firefighters spoke along with supporters who pointed out that when they were personally in danger, there were minutes that counted toward lifesaving, and these brave men had been there in time. Several firefighters pointed out how dangerous a pending proposal would be to possibly shut down one of the firehouses during the evening.
Nine (9) firefighters are at risk of being laid off because of the end of SAFER funding. An application has been made for another round of funding, but the result is very unsure since they have already received 2 rounds. One firefighter addressed the council saying “Why on earth would you lay off men when the results of the SAFER grant application hasn’t even been announced?
Surrounding area fire departments are urgently calling for new volunteers, since the possible loss of 9 men will impact all surrounding towns since they most often work together on any significant area fire.
Here, Newburgh City Manager, Michael Ciaravino addresses the City Council on various matters, while picketers can be seen in the background.
(Photo by Edie Johnson)