Feazelle said the department is so understaffed that, to meet national standards, it would need platoons of 15 firefighters per shift to operate all the equipment it has.
The standards call for four firefighters on the department’s two pumper trucks and aerial ladder truck, two on the ambulance and one incident commander.
With platoons of nine, sometimes the number drops to just six if a firefighter is off for vacation, a Kelly Day or out sick.
“We’re not asking for 15; we know that is not economically feasible,” Feazelle said.
“But sometimes we only have six people, and that’s not safe for the staff or the public.”
Email Joe LoTemplio at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE COST OF SAFETY
This is the first of five articles looking at the budgets of the Plattsburgh City Fire and Police departments and proposals for change.
Tomorrow: A closer look at Fire Department shifts and staffing.
BY THE NUMBERS
Here's a look at the budgets from the fire departments reviewed by the Press-Republican:
PLATTSBURGH FIRE DEPARTMENT
- 2002: $3,345,771 2007: $4,515,126
- 2012: $5,339,304
- 2002: 48 full-time, 2 part-time.
- 2007: 44 full-time, 5 part-time.
- 2012: 37 full-time.
Lowest- and highest-paid members:
- 2002: $24,440 and $52,772.
- 2007: $28,456 and $60,362.
- 2012: $30,239 and $64,056.
- 2007: $496,007
- 2008: $501,372
- 2009: $555,910
- 2010: $524,516
- 2011: $598,597
*Year-end figures not yet available
OGDENSBURG FIRE DEPARTMENT
Overall 2012 budget: $2.8 million
Staff levels: 29 full-time
Lowest- and highest-paid members: $26,782 and $49,855.
Revenue produced: $10,000 (department does not provide EMS transport service).
ONEONTA FIRE DEPARTMENT
Overall budget: $3 million
Staff levels: 28 full-time
Lowest- and highest-paid members: $32,551 and $54,908.
Revenue produced: N/A
OSWEGO FIRE DEPARTMENT
Overall budget: $4.96 million
Staff level: 66 full-time
Lowest and highest-paid members: $36,748 and $51,927.
Revenue produced: $1.4 million