Buffalo Union Raises Manpower Concerns

The president of Firefighters Local 282 said that a Buffalo firefighter killed in a blaze this week worked three, 15-hour night shifts in a row that followed two nine-hour shifts, according to WIVB-TV.

That firefighter -- Jonathan Croom -- and Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy were killed after falling through the first floor of the Super Speedy deli while battling a blaze on Monday.

Union President Daniel Cunningham told the station he can't help but bring attention to the risks associated with the city's firefighter shortage.

"The more hours you put in, the more chances are of you getting hurt," he said.

The union claims the department is short by at least 60 firefighters and blames years of staff cuts and a hiring freeze, leading to a rise in overtime. Buffalo spends around $10 million each year in overtime for the department, according to the report.

This fall the city will begin hiring its first class of fire recruits in seven years.

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