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Chief sidelines volunteer firefighters for training concerns

September 17, 2018

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York fire chief has sidelined his volunteer firefighters from rushing into burning buildings amid concerns about training.

Democratic Rensselaer Mayor Daniel Dwyer says a “disgruntled” city firefighter alerted the state about the lack of training for the crew of 18 volunteers. The Times Union reports the restriction from Fire Chief Bill Hummel follows two major fires in the city, located across the Hudson River from Albany.

Volunteer firefighter Michael Stammel, also a Rensselaer County legislator, says it’s difficult for volunteers to make training sessions.

Commissioner of Public Works Dominic Tagliento said all the volunteers will receive an eight-hour refresher course in two separate sections this week and next. They will then be allowed to go back inside burning buildings.

Hummel did not return a call for comment.

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