Watertown rescue truck sidelined, but firefighters will still respond to EMS calls

Watertown's heavy rescue truck

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown city council amended and passed a resolution Monday night that will keep the fire department responding to EMS calls.

But it will take the department’s heavy rescue truck off the streets much sooner than expected.

After a four-to-one vote in favor of the resolution, the truck will now be parked December 28 and firefighters will respond to EMS calls using pumper engines from all stations.

Mayor Jeff Smith says it gives time for the city, its fire department, Guilfoyle ambulance, and the county to work on a compromise at a January 11 work session.

“We have to change these services moving forward,” Smith said. “It’s unsustainable, unaffordable.”

“I’m glad that we didn’t take any precipitous action towards not providing EMS service, which I think would’ve been catastrophic,” fire Chief Matt Timerman. “However, there’s a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and just a couple of short days over the Christmas holiday to make this work.”

The original resolution called for the heavy rescue truck to go offline and for the department to stop automatically responding to all EMS calls on March 1.

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