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Rochester Firefighters Union Warns Against Quint-Midi

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Members of the Buffalo firefighters union received important information this week from their colleagues in Rochester. It basically warns against the implementation of a "Quint/Midi" fire apparatus system in Buffalo.

Buffalo Firefighters Local 282 president Anthony Hynes shared a letter with WBFO News that he received Monday from the president of the Rochester firefighters union.

"The president of the firefighters there points out that their career-ending injuries have quadrupled since the Quint/Midi was adopted," Hynes said.

Rochester is the only city in the United States that is using the "Quint-Midi" system, implemented in the 1980s. It's a combination engine and ladder truck and requires as few as two firefighters to operate. The letter, from Joseph Montesano, also states the "Quint/Midis" leave firefighters trying to do more with less manpower." Montesano warns "if there is a way" for this concept "not to happen" in Buffalo, it should be considered.

Hynes said he asked the Rochester union for an opinion on the system.

"I called him up to ask him his opinion on Quint/Midis. He worked in Rochester before that system took effect. So, he knows both firefighting systems. He believe's Quint/Midis are not the way to go -- that it is not as effective as a pumper and ladder truck," Hynes said. Mayor Anthony Masiello has proposed that the city fire department adopt the Quint/Midi system to save the city $3 million this year, and up to $6 million next year. It would reduce the number of firefighters in Buffalo by 100.

Hynes says the union does not support Quint/Midi, but says he is in the process of putting a packet together for the Common Council. It will give Council members as much information about the system as possible. The plan would need the approval of the union, Council and mayor.