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South Utica's pump company may go from fire house amid budget cuts

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - If Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri's budget proposal and its 38 cuts go through, the city will likely lose part of a fire house.

Officials say the part of the fire house will keep its ladder company, but lose its pump company - the part that puts water on and actually extinguishes the fire.

Fire Chief Russell Brooks mapped out the firehouses, taking geography, response time and population into consideration and came up with the conclusion that the first to go would be the Shepherd Street pumper in South Utica.

The chief has already heard from South Utica citizens and even parish priests about their concerns.

"There'd be a situation where this truck was pulling up very quickly and then they would be waiting for a pump company to come from another section of the city," said Fire Chief Russell Brooks.

The chief has suggested alternatives, including early retirement incentives for senior, high-paid members of the department.

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