POTSDAM — The decision to temporarily reduce the number of paid firetruck drivers came late Monday night after an executive session by the village board caught the fire department off guard.
“We were blindsided,” said Potsdam Fire Chief Danielle Rose. “We didn’t have a clue.”
“We have been there for the safety of our village residents and this is not something that we’re OK with,” she later added.
The number of paid fire truck drivers will temporarily be reduced from four to three for the months of July and August, according to Village Administrator Gregory O. Thompson.
The decision to reduce was spurred on by a recent retirement, Mayor Reinhold J. Tischler said.
The new schedule would have three paid drivers work for five days of the week, and on the two remaining days the trucks would be driven by volunteers.
The first day of this new driving schedule was supposed to be July 1, but due to a union issue it will have to be later, according to Chief Rose.
“There are so many days they have to give paid drivers before they change their schedule, and that time frame has already gone by in order for it to start on July 1,” Ms. Rose said.
Ms. Rose said she and those in the village government were in talks to find a resolution to the personnel loss.
“After talking to the village administrator, we’re working on coming up with solutions on how we can fill this paid driver position without the village having to absorb all of the cost,” said Ms. Rose. “We’re hoping this is just temporary.”