Johnson City, Binghamton Explore Sharing Fire Chief

By Erika Mahoney

November 13, 2012 Updated Nov 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM EST

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Some big changes could be on their way to the Johnson City Fire Department.

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie said Tuesday night he has had preliminary discussions with Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan about sharing a fire chief.

Last August, Johnson City terminated their inter-municipal agreement with Endicott when Fire Chief Stephen Hrustich stepped down.

Since then, Johnson City's fire marshal has served as acting chief.

With fire chief exams coming up this January, the village is investigating whether sharing a fire chief would save money.

"Everybody has to look at different avenues for doing things these days to save money and work together and consolidate," said Deemie. "It just has to be done correctly. We've got many different options we can go with. We're trying to figure out what's the best option for the village, financially and safety wise."

Mayor Deemie said he plans on sitting down with Mayor Ryan soon to formally discuss the possibility.

Mayor Ryan's executive assistant confirmed Tuesday saving money is the driving force behind these consolidation discussions.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the village welcomed new Fire Fighter Ryan Willis, who was hired under the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) federal grant. And Fire Fighter Markus Smith was promoted to the position of Fire Lieutenant.