Possible NFD cuts pose threat for EMS throughout Chenango

NORWICH – If proposed cuts to Norwich’s fire department go through, emergency service coordinators warn of the ripple effect it will have on EMS services, not just in the city, but throughout the county.

On Tuesday, the Norwich Common Council heard concerns from many residents and members of the Norwich Fire Department regarding the possible elimination of full-time and part-time positions within the department by the end of the year. The idea comes as a way for the Council to trim the 2016 annual budget and avoid a double-digest tax hike for city residents.

Norwich City Human Resources Director Deborah DeForest explained the city suggests cutting five part-time and four full-time positions, with two of those full-time positions being reinstated by fall of 2016. However, two firefighters are up for retirement in 2016 and the city does not plan to refill those positions, she said, meaning there will still be four less full-time positions in the department by this time next year.

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