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Buffalo fire union calls for updated equipment

Updated equipment, an emergency management coordinator, and an emergency operations center, that's what the Buffalo firefighters union wants.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A few dozen Buffalo firefighters were inside Buffalo Common Council chambers on Tuesday afternoon. 

They were on hand as city lawmakers listened to the Buffalo fire commissioner explain the department's response during the blizzard last month.

"We responded with less apparatus since many of our vehicles and ambulances were getting stuck on a regular basis during the height of the storm," said commissioner William Renaldo.

The union president told lawmakers that the majority of the engines and ladders in Buffalo are old. 

Some lawmakers said the city should no longer delay getting new equipment.

Over 40 people died during the blizzard.

South district councilman Christopher Scanlon said "if we're not able to keep the men and women of this city healthy and safe, everything else is irrelevant. This has to be our number one priority, and expenditure of funds and planning."

President Vincent Ventresca of the Buffalo Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 282 was blunt in speaking with lawmakers. "There is a desperate need for a strategic comprehensive plan to modernize our frontline apparatus and plan to replace outdated apparatus on a regular basis.  In the last 4 and a half years no fire suppression has been ordered or speck out to fire department requirements."

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