Yonkers Residents Relieved Mayor's Plan To Cut Firefighter Overtime Put On Hold

YONKERS, N.Y. – Many Yonkers residents are relieved the city’s plan to reduce overtime costs within the Yonkers Fire Department by taking trucks off the streets has been temporarily nixed by a court order.

“I don’t see how it wouldn’t affect our safety,” said St. Casimir Avenue resident Victor Greaves.  “These trucks would be coming from further away. That could make a big difference.”

Late Monday, Westchester state Supreme Court Judge John H. LaCava issued a temporary restraining order to prevent Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano from implementing a policy that would have subjected two fire stations to temporary closure and taken two trucks off the streets on any given day, according to published reports.

The plan was set to take effect Tuesday and would have closed the New School Street station and another on Fortfield Avenue on an as-need basis, transferring its firefighters to other stations if staffing levels city-wide dropped below 54.  

While city officials have said the plan would not have affected public safety, many residents near the New School Street station said they were concerned it would take extra time for trucks from other departments to respond to a fire.

Yonkers resident Maxine Otis agreed with Greaves and said she was relieved the mayor’s plan had been put on hold.

“Those few minutes could be the difference between life and death,” she said.

City officials have estimated the plan would have saved $5 million a year as replacement firefighters, who are paid time and a half, would not be called in until staffing numbers dropped below 48, reports said.

Both the city and the firefighters union will present their testimony at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 30, according to reports. 

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