“Volunteer firefighter Aaron Lerer points to his protective jacket with large, brown scorch spots staining the shoulder of the fire-resistant material. He holds up a helmet with a melted face shield and burn marks, and displays one of the radios needed by firefighters inside burning buildings that has an antenna held together by tape. The department’s main tanker truck is 24 years old, more than a decade past its shelf life, and has broken down at fire scenes. Those are just some of the issues Spring Valley firefighters say they are coping with as they respond to emergencies without proper equipment and dependable trucks. They blame a divided village Board of Trustees, which has refused to allocate money to aid the beleaguered volunteers. The issue flared up again this past week when, at a raucous board meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Demeza Delhomme and Deputy Mayor Emilia White supported a $1.5 million bond for the Fire Department. The board majority Trustees Vilair Fonvil, Asher Grossman and Sherry McGill abstained, killing the financing. Firefighters are angry about what they see as the trustees’ laissez-faire attitude toward their lives and the safety of residents. The department is the county’s busiest, with four firehouses answering more than a 1,000 calls per year. That includes entering buildings with illegal rooms or apartments that have not been inspected in years.” Read the complete story here.
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