continued Denno was also concerned about proposed staffing cuts to the department.
“When I was on the fire department many, many, many years ago, we had a minimum of 95 firefighters on duty at any time. We’ve cut fire service year after year after year,” he said. “We can’t continue to cut and expect to achieve the same level of quality professional emergency service that we’ve come to expect from the Syracuse Fire Department. Sooner or later those cuts will have a cost. In this case, we’re talking about public and firefighter safety.”
At this point, layoffs have not been discussed. However, the city is looking at cutting the minimum manning number when they renegotiate the department’s contract.
Denno said he thought the city should be able to come up with the money to keep the station open.
“I think the fact that the council and the administration have decided not to spend $2.5 million replacing parking meters would certainly suggest there are funds available,” he said.
Ryan emphasized that nothing had been finalized yet.
“No decisions have been made,” he said. “We’re in the very beginning stages of the budget process.”
Motondo said that’s why firefighters are making a public plea for support for Station No. 7.
“In the past, a lot of things have occurred to us in terms of closures, and we haven’t had time to react,” he said. “This time, we do have time to react, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re attempting to save it before the budget process gets too far along.”
He pointed to Ryan’s own words in an interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard as support of keeping the station open.
“Per Bill Ryan, if we remove one of the pieces, you’ve got to redo your strategy,” Motondo said. “We agree. If you do this, it will create that void. The city would have to develop a new plan for that entire response area. That’s not public safety.”