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Firefighters' Firing Prompts Protest In Port Chester

Protesters carried signs, blasted air horns and wore red shirts on Tuesday. About 200 people attended the pro-union rally outside Port Chester Village Hall and then marched in support of eight local firefighters who were fired on Monday.
Protesters carried signs, blasted air horns and wore red shirts on Tuesday. About 200 people attended the pro-union rally outside Port Chester Village Hall and then marched in support of eight local firefighters who were fired on Monday. Video Credit: Jon Craig
William Romaka, first district vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, speaks during Tuesday's rally outside Port Chester Village Hall.
William Romaka, first district vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, speaks during Tuesday's rally outside Port Chester Village Hall. Video Credit: Jon Craig
William Romaka, first district vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, spoke during Tuesday's rally outside Port Chester Village Hall.
William Romaka, first district vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, spoke during Tuesday's rally outside Port Chester Village Hall. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Dozens of protesters wore red shirts on Tuesday that said: "Say 'NO' to Firefighter Layoffs." About 200 people attended a rally outside Port Chester Village Hall and then marched carrying picket signs in support of eight local firefighters.
Dozens of protesters wore red shirts on Tuesday that said: "Say 'NO' to Firefighter Layoffs." About 200 people attended a rally outside Port Chester Village Hall and then marched carrying picket signs in support of eight local firefighters. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

This story has been updated.

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Monday's surprise firing of eight paid firefighters in Port Chester prompted a rally and protest by about 200 firefighters, union members and the public.

By a 5-1 vote, as reported earlier here by Daily Voice, Port Chester's village board eliminated the paid fire department and 11 jobs. Three of the career jobs were vacant, leaving eight more firefighters on unpaid administrative leave.

During a rally outside Village Hall on Tuesday afternoon, William Romaka, first district vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, predicted litigation will cost far more than the fired employees' salaries.

Vinny Lyons, a member of Local 1971 and one of the firefighters slated to lose his job, said the layoffs came as a total surprise.

The village board planned to permanently eliminate three vacancies in the 2016-17 budget, Lyons said, but not all 11 positions.

Village officials have estimated the annual savings at $600,000 for salaries and benefits.

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