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Village Board Axes Paid Fire Department In Port Chester

Port Chester firefighters battling a fire in the village in March. On Monday night, a 5-1 village board voted to eliminate the paid department, cutting eight career firefighter jobs.
Port Chester firefighters battling a fire in the village in March. On Monday night, a 5-1 village board voted to eliminate the paid department, cutting eight career firefighter jobs. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester's village board voted 5-1 to on Monday night to cut eight paid firefighters.

The abrupt budget change would save an estimated $600,000 in salaries and benefits in the 2016-17 budget, according to village officials.

A rally to support the firefighters was planned for 1 p.m. Tuesday outside Village Hall at 222 Grace Church St. Organizers encouraged people to wear red to protest the village board vote.

Village trustee Luis Marino, who is a volunteer firefighter, abstained from Monday's vote. Greg Adams was the only trustee to vote against eliminating the village's paid fire department.

The eight career firefighters were placed on administrative leave on Monday. A lawyer representing the firefighters said he's researching their legal options.

The City of Rye, Greenburgh and White Plains are the closest fire departments that employ paid firefighters. Rye also has volunteers that assist its unionized career firefighters.

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