Syracuse (NY) Cuts Pay to Ten Disabled Firefighters

The City of Syracuse has found that ten firefighters who were injured in the line of duty were being overpaid and is reducing their disability income, reports

Former firefighter Rick Azzoto was severely injured on August 23rd, 1986 when his fire truck crashed into a building on South Salina Street. The rig flipped over, nearly crushing him to death.

“It hit with such impact my door blew off… it landed on top of me. I was trapped for a half an hour. I actually saw my mother who passed away two years before. We were ready to touch hands. My comrades got me out just in time,” Azzoto told CNY Central’s Jim Kenyon.

Azzoto suffered severe leg and internal injuries and has been disabled ever since. Under Municipal Law 207-A, the City of Syracuse is obligated to provide Azzoto with health insurance and full pay with cost of living adjustments as if he was an active duty firefighter.

On September 25th, Azzoto received a letter informing him that his income was being reduced by several thousand dollars per year. Similar letters went out to nine other disabled firefighters. Azzoto says he is upset and hurt by the decision.

“We’ve been sitting back there for years, nobody bothering us and all of the sudden they say ‘Let’s save some money. Here’s an easy thing, they can’t even defend themselves. It’s bullying. There’s certain people you shouldn’t go after and I consider myself one of them. How much more do you have to give? Body parts?'”

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