Some Long Beach Residents Worried with Firefighter Cuts

Some Long Island residents are worried about public safety because first responders are being laid off, reports CBS New York (http://cbsloc.al/13ij963)

The loss of an emergency response grant has prompted the city of Long Beach to say it cannot afford to retain five federally funded firefighters.

“It is disappointing to get this news at this time of year. I just found out I am getting laid off,” Dave Yolinsky told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan on Thursday.

Five firefighters will be laid off on Jan. 1. To keep them would have cost the city $600,000. Long Beach residents will now be covered by 25 paid firefighters and 150 volunteers.

Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said those numbers reflect pre-Hurricane Sandy staffing and that residents are safe and will not see a change in response.

“Even minus those five firefighters we are not changing the amount of guys working in any one 24-hour period,” Kemins said.

But Long Beach Professional Firefighters Association president Bill Piazza said public safety will be affected with medical and fire calls.

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