Utica fire chief: cuts would be 'disastrous'
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UTICA, N.Y. -- Utica's Fire Chief told the city's Common Council Public Safety Committee in no uncertain terms on Wednesday night, that closing firehouses could be disastrous. The council directed Chief Russell Brooks last month to look into closing two of the city's six firehouses.
In the chief's thirty-page report, he outlines what fire coverage would look like with as few as three firehouses. He said consolidation is only possible by building new firehouses in strategic locations. Brooks said it could put people and property in jeopardy.
"Now there is a station in each section of the city and if one were to be eliminated it would put people at risk. So obviously as a fire chief, I'm not signing on to any reduction in stations," Brooks said.
The chief suggested a three phrase process for consolidation, if his department is forced to cut firehouses.