History to be made in Rockland County when the first paid firefighter is hired 

Before this announcement, firefighters in the county have only been volunteers.

Diane Caruso

Jan 29, 2024, 10:58 PM

Updated 138 days ago

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The Tallman Fire Department will mark a new milestone in its 100-year history when it becomes the first fire agency in Rockland County to hire a fire chief. 
News 12 has learned that person will be an assistant to the department's head chief.
Before this announcement, firefighters in the county have only been volunteers.
"The trend across volunteer fire departments across the nation is to move to some sort of paid assistance,” said Brad Pinsky, attorney for the Tallman Fire Department. The attorney, who is with the Pinsky Law Group in Syracuse, represents other first responder agencies in New York state as well.
Pinsky says the person will be able to respond to incidents while they're working and handle the administrative paperwork that has to be done - which takes the load off volunteer members.
According to the job description posted online, there will be a civil service exam in March, there are several qualifications and it will pay about $104,000 a year for a 40-hour work week.
The position will be paid by taxpayers from within the Tallman fire district, according to Pinsky.
"Fires, alarms and calls have gone up. They haven't gone down. EMS calls are up. and the loads of administrative responsibilities have gone up. Nothing has decreased,” said Pinsky. "The time it takes to volunteer has only gone one way."
Pinsky says it could take months before someone is hired.
He says other departments have reached out to Tallman with interest in learning more.


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