Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Weeks remain before Newburgh must lay off firefighters

NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh’s federal SAFER grant expires in a little over six weeks and that is when it will have to lay off nine firefighters. A total of 12 are being funded by the second round grant, but the city council has agreed to budget for three of the full-timers.

The city has applied for a third round SAFER grant, but the likelihood of landing that is unknown.

US Senator Charles Schumer is pushing FEMA to provide the money to retain all 12 men, but Acting Fire Chief Terry Ahlers said those in jeopardy of losing their jobs are looking elsewhere.

“They are trying to have a plan B and find another opening someplace else where they can go,” Ahlers said. “Three of them already have a new position lined up with another fire department and there is a fourth one that is waiting right now to hear back, but all nine of them are really trying. I hope they all get through this. They all have families that depend on their paychecks.”

Schumer spoke with EPA Administrator Brock Long personally urging him to renew the funding to retain all 12 positions.

 


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