Cicero talks emergency services, liaison assignments

During the Cicero Town Board meeting on Jan. 26, the Supervisor's Committee for Fire and Emergency Services presented the board with its findings, and Supervisor Judy Boyke addressed Councilor Jim Corl's decline of liaison positions.

The Supervisor's Committee for Fire and Emergency Services was established in January 2008 by Former Supervisor Chet Dudzinski to "ensure the residents of the town [were] receiving the best possible service." During the two-year study, the committee looked at the organization, capabilities and services provided by the Cicero, South Bay, North Syracuse, Bridgeport and Brewerton fire departments were providing the town of Cicero. The evening's presentation was given by committee member Christopher Bitner.

The committee included Chief Duane Otis and Firefighter Chip Piraino of the Brewerton Fire Department; Chief James Ostrowski and Past Chief Paul Smith from the Brigdeport Fire Department; Chief David Pangaro, Deputy Chief Jon Barrett and Past Chief Richard Carvel from the Cicero Fire Department; Chief Mark Hogan and Past Chief John Linnertz from the North Syracuse Fire Department; Chief Kevin Purdy and Assistant Chief John Pertgen from the South Bay Fire Department; Christopher Bitner, executive director of NAVAC Ambulance; and town residents Charles Abbey, James Delladonna, William Purdy and Howie Habner.

After tallying up the number of vehicles and personnel stationed at each of the departments the committee came up with these totals: 12 engines, three trucks, four heavy rescue vehicles, 10 light rescue vehicles, 10 boats, two rescue pumpers, 13 chiefs, 258 total personnel, 156 SCBA-qualified, 102 exterior support, nine divers and 92 EMS across nine stations within the five departments.

The committee was also asked to look at possible cost-saving methods in the future. While consolidation of departments, personnel and equipment were discussed, the committee found that consolidating services would place a disadvantage on residents that lived far away from the main fire department, so additional stations would still be needed. The same problems arose when discussing shared equipment and personnel: if the resources needed are located in the opposite corner of town, response time would be poor, placing those residents at a disadvantage.

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