According to Mid-Hudson News, POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie’s professional firefighters, members of IAFF Local 596, responded to 5,428 calls for service in 2022, with the last one coming in at 11:40 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The call volume is a 16 percent increase over 2021.
The firefighters, operating out of stations on North Clover Street, Main Street, and Hooker Avenue, cover the three square miles of the city as well as a section of the Hudson River.
Joe Franco, a 27-year veteran of the department was named chief in July of 2022 by then-mayor Rob Rolison. Franco noted that the increased call volume takes its toll on the firefighters and the equipment, including the rigs. He also expressed the pride he has in his firefighters. “Our firefighters have continually stepped up, under all conditions, to provide service and care to the city’s residents and visitors, and they do it well. “In early December, Franco promoted 22-year department veteran Lieutenant Vinnie Parise to the position of Deputy Chief.
In one of his first public statements since taking office on January 1, Poughkeepsie Mayor Marc Nelson said, “Our fire department is one of the busiest fire departments in the region. They continue their professionalism and bravery year after year and we are blessed as a city to have them protecting us and our community.” Acknowledging the strain placed on personnel and equipment, Mayor Nelson also said, “This administration will continue to ensure our firefighters are fully supported and have the resources they need to perform their duties.”
The fire department operates around the clock with a minimum staffing level of of one captain, two lieutenants, 10 firefighters using one command vehicle, three engines and two ladder trucks.
The seemingly never-ending calls continued in 2023 with the department responding to its first call 25 minutes into the new year. By 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Day, the department had answered 22 calls for service to start the new year.