Staffed for failure timeline
November 26, 2014 - "City Manager: Fire Department Staffed for Failure" - "Right now, we're staffed for failure," Culross warned the Rye City Council. - http://www.ryecityreview.com/city-manager-fire-department-staffed-for-failure/
December 4th, 2014 - Mayor Sack: "...with regard to the fire department, we are not going to proceed at this time with the addition of 4 new full-time paid firefighters... whenever there is a house fire in Rye, we always have enough people responding to the fire, because we also have what is called mutual aid... in those instances there is not a danger that there is not enough firefighters to put out a big fire." - stated during city council meeting
December 12th, 2014 - "City Council Nixes 2015 Firefighter Hires" - "We are cognizant that this is a discussion that we are going to have to have in the coming year," Sack said. "We thank the city manager for prompting us to have this discussion by including it in the budget, but these are not issues that appeared overnight. Existing conditions have been as they have for some time...and there is nothing that needs to be changed that can't wait another year." - http://www.ryecityreview.com/city-council-nixes-2015-firefighter-hires/
December 17th, 2014 - City Council Meeting, Item 5A "Resolution to transfer $50,000 from the 2015 Contingency account to fund expenses associated with the hiring of staff for the Fire Department" - Mayor Sack announces that City will hire one (1) additional firefighter in March and promote a current firefighter to a new lieutenant position to work straight days (9am-5pm). ****UPDATE: Never happened****
December 18th, 2014 - "City to Weigh FD Future" - "Options will include having discussions with neighboring communities about perhaps merging our departments and possibly even considering closing one of the two firehouses we have" [Sack said] I'm not saying that's going to happen, but I say it by way of indicating that we're going to have all options on the table." - Closing a firehouse "will not offset the citywide insurance premium, which could be millions per year," the report stated. - http://www.ryecityreview.com/city-to-weigh-fd-future/
January 8th, 2015 - "Firefighter Hire Doesn't Address Staffing Concerns" - "It was a surprise to all of us," Castelhano said regarding the city's decision to hire one firefighter. "We were never consulted about it. It was never a proposal. It just appeared...I think the way they're doing it isn't going to correct any of the problems we have" - http://www.ryecityreview.com/firefighter-hire-doesnt-address-staffing-concerns/
April 1st, 2015 - Additional Firefighter not hired
April 9th, 2015 - "Does Rye fire need more volunteers?" - "As the ranks of volunteer firefighters have withered, more fires in Rye have had an inadequate number of interior firefighters present during the initial response time, putting both the community and the responding firefighters at risk." - Councilwoman Bucci http://www.ryecityreview.com/column-does-rye-fire-need-more-volunteers/
May 15th, 2015 - "Fire chief election voided" - “There are some structural changes that need to be addressed for the long term,” Sack said. “We’ll have more discussions over the next six months.” - http://www.ryecityreview.com/fire-chief-election-voided/
July 1st, 2015 - Additional Lieutenant position not created
July 8th, 2015 - Mayor Announces study group at council meeting: "Mayor appointed a study group to flag and vet all issues of the Department. Appointed-Councilmembers Mecca, Bucci, Mayor Sack and Chiefs Cotter, Billington and Taylor. Additional members may be appointed in the future." - via City Council meeting minutes.
October 16th, 2015 - City Council Candidates asked if they would support hiring additional career firefighters. All said YES. - via Rye City Review
November 12th, 2015 - Tentative Budget made public: No increase in staffing for fire department. - ryeny.gov
November 16th, 2015 - City Council Budget Meeting with Fire Department: "Before we go ahead and add new paid members, we need to figure out the supervision of the department first. This is in the context that the city is negotiating a new labor contract with the fire department... I think we [should] square away that before we go ahead and commit the city to long term health and retirement commitments." - Mayor Sack via video recording of budget meeting.
November 30th, 2015 - "City forms study group to address FD staffing" - Now, in an effort to help guide the decision of the Rye City Council on the issue of fire department staffing, a seven-member, mayor-appointed study group has been formed by Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican. - http://www.ryecityreview.com/city-forms-study-group-to-address-fd-staffing/
December 4th, 2015 - "Council Puts off Five-Points Intersection; Allocates Funds to Pay for Fire Supervisor" - "The Council proposed to reallocate $100,000 of the capital spending for one-half year’s salary and benefits for a fire supervisor, an administrative position. - http://ryerecord.com/news/council-puts-off-five-points-intersection-allocates-funds-to-pay-for-fire-supervisor.html
December 10th, 2015 - "Source: New Advisory Position Not Enough" -“We haven’t yet decided what form the fire administrator role will take,” said Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican. “Whether it’s going to be a fire department commissioner akin to what the police department has, or something else.” - http://www.ryecityreview.com/source-new-advisory-position-not-enough/
February 24th, 2016 - City and Union agree to 6-year contract for the years 2010-2015. Local 2029 members continue to work without a current contract.
March 30th, 2016 - City Council approves changes to fire department by-laws, which weaken the qualifications to hold the office of chief. Goal is to open up the pool of candidates to run for chief. No fire officer training is required, but you do need to be 18 years old, responded to 12 alarms out of 900, taken basic firefighter training, and had been an officer in a fire company.
May 12th 2016 - "Advisory Committee to Recommend 4 FD Positions" - In the Rye City Review (only available in print), "It's not a secret that those on the committee would like to hire four more paid firefighters," said [Councilman] Mecca. "We're thinking about [adding] the position of public safety commissioner." City council agenda: http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/rye/published_documents/City%20Council/Agenda/2016/Agenda%2005-25-16.pdf
September 10th, 2016 - "Rye Fire Department Hires First Female Firefighter" - City hires two replacements for recent retirements to maintain staffing levels. "According to Mecca, despite the addition of two new firefighters—currently the city has 17 paid firefighters—the City Council and City Manager Marcus Serrano still continue to mull over the potential hiring of an additional four paid staffers." - http://www.ryecityreview.com/news/rye-fire-department-hires-first-female-firefighter/
November 9th, 2016 - Rye voters say YES to creation of Public Safety Commissioner to oversee Police and Fire Departments in the City of Rye. City Manager presents 2017 Budget, adding ONE career firefighter to Rye Fire Department. http://patch.com/new-york/rye/rye-election-2016-what-you-need-know / http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/rye/published_documents/Budget/2017/2017%20Tentative%20Budget.pdf
January 28th, 2017 - "Fire department ordered 20 violations" - "On Jan. 6, the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau, PESH, part of the New York state Department of Labor, issued a notice of violation to the city of Rye for failing to comply with 20 standards set by the Public Employee Safety and Health Act of 1980." - http://www.ryecityreview.com/news/fire-department-ordered-20-violations/
February 1st , 2017 - "Rye City names public safety commissioner" - "Rye now has a single paid-administrator at the helm of the city's fire and police departments." - http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2017/02/01/rye-public-safety/97302230/
April 7th, 2017 - "Corcoran considers more paid firefighters; dept. violations resolved" - "The city’s public safety commissioner is considering adding more paid firefighter positions to address the Fire Department’s lack of professional personnel, while also attempting to rectify ongoing violations against the department." - http://www.ryecityreview.com/lead-stories/corcoran-considers-more-paid-firefighters-dept-violations-resolved/
April 20th, 2017 - "Fire Department policy changes enacted; new chiefs installed" - Fact: The new "chiefs" have not been approved
'According to John Castelhano, the president of the local firefighters’ union, the new fire chief doesn’t have all the necessary training necessary to lead the department. “My understanding is that you need more training or equal training to the general membership of the department; [Larr] is not even close,” he said.' - http://www.ryecityreview.com/lead-stories/fire-department-policy-changes-enacted-new-chiefs-installed/
June 8th, 2017 - "Fire Department chief’s training called into question" - "A newly elected Rye fire chief does not qualify to hold the position, leading to concerns over his status as the department’s commanding officer during emergency situations." "The Review has confirmed that newly promoted volunteer Chief David Larr....does not have the requisite certification or qualifications to be in command of fire scenes." - http://www.ryecityreview.com/news/fd-chiefs-training-called-into-question/
July 14th, 2017 - One additional Career Firefighter graduates Westchester Career Fire Academy and is added to the ranks.