PLATTSBURGH, NY- The City of Plattsburgh has signed an agreement with the firefighters union. Mayor Colin Read feels it will be good for the city.
At a news conference Thursday, the mayor said he wants to improve public safety throughout the city and a new agreement would bring more firefighters to the city and a second ambulance.
Plattsburgh City Mayor Read said it’s all thanks to the firefighters association, the lake city will be a safer place.
“The firefighters association has been one of the largest proponents of figuring out new and innovative ideas that we can do just that,” said Mayor Read.
The memorandum of agreement will increase response times with a second ambulance being placed in the south end of the city. Staffing levels will increase by about 17 percent.
“Every aspect of an incident of an emergency there’s a lot of tasks that need to be done. The tasks don’t go away if you don’t have as many people,” said President of the Plattsburgh Professional Firefighters Association Jamie Schwartz.
The agreement will increase total staffing from 32 firefighters to 36. It will also extend firefighters contracts for an additional two years. According to the mayor, the last time Plattsburgh City Firefighters negotiated a contract was in the 2000’s.
Plattsburgh city fire Chief Scott Lawliss explained this agreement has been a long time coming.
“We have been working on this for several years. We were just able to get it done through President Schwartz and his negotiating team,” said Chief Lawliss.
Schwartz believed the city needed this agreement because he was concerned for the safety of the residents. After many hours of negotiating, he said this a good first step.
“I don’t think we are all the way were we need to be yet, but I’m glad the city is willing to work with us on this”
These improvements will be paid for by the additional revenue from having a second ambulance. If the agreement goes well, officials said they will continue to improve public safety by making more improvements, like additional safety equipment.