Binghamton fire chief requests more personnel, money

By Perry Russom

Binghamton fire chief requests more personnel, money

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 11:07 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton fire officials are asking the city for more money and manpower in the 2014 budget.

The Binghamton budget talks for 2014 continued Wednesday at City Hall.

Under the spotlight was the Binghamton Fire Department's budget request.

The fire department is asking for nearly $9.9 million in the 2014 budget. That's up from the 2013 budget of nearly $9.7.

Fire Chief Dan Thomas requested the funding for two additional firefighters.

"It will make the city safer," said Thomas. "That's always our goal in the sense of that we will be in a better position to provide the services that they expect. So by that, we will have the proper staffing on the engines."

Currently, the budget funds 118 positions. City Council previously voted to cut funding to four positions, dropping the number from 122 to 118.

Thomas said his game plan is always to keep his department fully staffed.

Councilman Chris Papastrat asked Thomas if he could consider holding off on funding the positions until next year.

Thomas said he wouldn't ask for the positions if he didn't need them.

The budget also calls for a new fire truck and ambulance. Thomas said operating an old truck is not cost effective.

The discussion on whether to approve the new emergency vehicles was put on hold.