Despite firefighter layoffs, City of Newburgh to offer civil service test

Newburgh City Fire Chief William Horton, Mayor Torrance Harvey and City Manager Joseph Donat

NEWBURGH – On January 1st, the City of Newburgh laid off 15 firefighters because of budget constraints and now, it has announced a civil service exam for the position of firefighter.

The results for the Spanish-speaking firefighter test would be used in the future, said Mayor Torrance Harvey. “It’s a fiduciary responsibility of the city manager and the comptroller to make sure that we are solvent and that our expenditures don’t outweigh our revenues for the city in terms of budget,” he said. “So, this is protocol, this is what they have to do. Every so often, these exams have to be administered so that there is a pool of applicants, or potential applicants, once revenue sources are in place to do more hiring and those on the preferred list are the first called.”

Newburgh City Manager Joe Donat said that the current list is four years old and set to expire.  Donat indicated that New York State set the date for the exam and the mayor and fire chief were in agreement.  The City Manager told Mid-Hudson News “We need to hold a new exam to have a current list, otherwise, we will not have an eligible list to pull from for the next several years.”

A firefighter that was laid off from Newburgh and subsequently hired by a department in Dutchess County called the exam announcement a “slap in the face.”  The veteran firefighter added “I would discourage anyone from taking the test for Newburgh.  There is absolutely no job security in working for that city.”

This latest civil service exam will be administered on April 25 with the deadline to file for it on March 10.

Additional information on the exam can be found on the city’s website, here:

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