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Albany Firefighters Ratify Agreement With Mayor

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Albany Firefighters have overwhelmingly ratified an agreement its leadership negotiated with Mayor Kathy Sheehan that would maintain full-staffing and apparatus, including the South End-based Ladder 1. 

Firefighters Union president Bob Powers says his group worked cooperatively with the city to identify ways to recover costs for critical advance life support services and ensure minimum staffing levels across Albany.

The firefighters have urged the city to maintain its Fire Department’s personnel strength at 245, rather than the current 232, to ensure that staffing shortfalls do not contribute to overtime costs. Under the agreement ratified Friday, only eight firefighters will be permitted to take vacations at the same time – down from 12 under the current contract – which will reduce overtime costs, helping save $1.2 million in firefighter overtime that was needed to balance the 2015 budget.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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