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Garnar Signs Executive Order Allowing County Employees To Respond to Emergencies

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Broome County is taking a step forward in better protecting its residents. 

As the county faces low volunteer emergency responders, County Executive Jason Garnar signed his first Executive Order allowing county employees who are active EMS volunteers to leave work during the day to respond to emergencies. 

The Executive Order was signed Friday afternoon at West Corners Fire Station in Endicott. 

"As challenging as it is for volunteers to maintain a full-time job and support their community, we are happy that we will be able to assist volunteer fire and EMS agencies with day-time response," said Micheal Ponticiello, Director of Emergency Services.

Not only will this Executive Order help increase the number of responders to an emergency event, but it'll allow volunteer emergency responders to request leave to respond to the incident without fear of repercussions at work. 

"There are about 50 of our employees of our roughly 2000 full and part-time that work for Broome County that are active in the volunteer fire service, so we thought getting up to 50 extra people out during the workday available any time to respond to emergencies would be very helpful in terms of public safety," said Garnar.

In order to participate in this program, county employees must be certified by their volunteer fire department or ambulance service chief and pre-approved by their Department Head. 

As part of a statewide effort to increase volunteer firefighters in New York, firehouses across New York State will be opening their doors to the public participate in RecruitNY on April 28 and 29. RecruitNY is one of the largest and most successful volunteer fire responder recruitment events. . In Broome County, 29 volunteer fire departments are participating on Saturday, April 28th from noon until 3 p.m. This is an opportunity for them to grow their departments and educate the public about the valuable services they provide.