TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The city of Troy is moving forward with a study approved back in 2021 and it is designed to take a look at the city’s first responder staffing needs. NEWS10 speaking with leaders in the collar city about the new plan.
Staffing levels at the City’s fire departments have been the same for nearly three decades. Yet, the calls for help continue to increase, according to Troy Uniformed Firefighters Association, local 86 President, Eric Wisher.
“We do 14,000 calls a year, about 10,500 are EMS. We’re the largest Fire Department transport agency in the REMO region, which is the 14 counties of the Capital District,” said Wisher.
Last December, the city dropped from four to three ambulances that service the public which has forced firefighters to share responsibilities when not on a fire call.
“If the ambulance is out of the building the engine comes off duty. If the engine’s out of the building the ambulance comes off duty, so we lose firefighting capability,” said Wisher.
Wisher says response times are longer now and something needs to change, or it could become a dangerous situation.
“Fire doubles in size every 15 to 30 seconds, you know? And minutes count, right? And if you’re trapped in your house, you want somebody there quick to be able to get you out,” said Wisher.
Last week, the Troy City Council moving forward with the $60,000 that was set aside to conduct a survey of the City’s emergency services. City Council President Carmella Mantello explains the purpose of the survey.
“To look at the fire department and what the firm is going to look at is not just our city ambulance model but also our staffing. Is the minimum manning where it needs to be? It [survey] will probably tell us that we need to hire more firefighters,” said Mantello.
The mayor’s office confirmed that the study will take some time to complete, and that information will readily be available for the next administration.
“We will create a contract, which hopefully we can do in the next month or so. And, then we’re looking at a six-month timeline,” said Deputy Mayor Chris Nolin.