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Lockport residents showed up at Wednesday night's Common Council meeting to voice concerns about the financial challenges the city faces.

Firefighters also attended the meeting and voiced concerns for privatizing ambulance services, which is scheduled to happen in September. Minimum manning changes from 9 to 7 firefighters per shift are expected to take place to help reduce the department's overtime cost.

Tom Lupo with Lockport Fire Department said, "we are spread thin and if we go down to seven, we're going to lose the two men that get the water from the hydrant to the engine -that's basically what we're losing."

At the meeting, firefighters advocated for the city to consider applying for a SAFER grant that can be used to retain a certain number of firefighters and pay their covered expenses for 2 years.

The union explains fewer firefighters during shifts is a safety issue in the field.

Lupo said,"we are an old style city, with old housing stalk and it's dangerous."

There's also a push to save ambulance services. Fire officials said it's a revenue maker for the city
and suggests to charge higher rates. However, city says the incoming money is not enough.

Mayor Anne McCaffrey said, "there's a misnomer there, it certainly brings in revenue but it doesn't cover the cost for the service. So by eliminating the ambulance, the city will certainly save a substantial amount of money and that's what's driving this decision.

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