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Posted on: July 27, 2020

Cohoes Seeks to Safely Control Fire Dept Overtime Costs in Midst of Fiscal Crisis

Cohoes, NY (July 27, 2020) – The City of Cohoes is seeking to safely save $100,000+ in Fire Department overtime costs in response to the fiscal crisis due to COVID-19 related revenue losses expected to exceed $1-million this year. 
Following is a statement from Cohoes Fire Chief Joseph Fahd regarding that effort:

“I have been a firefighter for more than 50 years, and Fire Chief in Cohoes since 2003.  I would not take any action that would put my firefighters or the Cohoes community at risk.  Safety is my highest priority, and safety is Mayor Keeler’s highest priority.  That is why there are at least 7 and often 8 firefighters assigned to each shift.

The reality is that we are facing an economic crisis like I have not seen in my 50 years as a firefighter, and it requires us to look at every part of the Fire Department budget, including overtime.  The problem we are grappling with is how to safely and effectively control overtime costs.  If we do this right, we think we can save more than $100,000 between now and the end of the year.  But, that is going to require the help of our firefighters, because of how overtime is incurred.

These are unprecedented times, and it will take cooperation and collaboration to get through it.  Mayor Keeler and I will be meeting with the Cohoes Local 2562 Firefighters Union Executive Board on Tuesday. I am confident that, working together, we will find solutions that will contain overtime costs safely.”

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