Last Week PIX11 ran a story on Yonkers calling out Mount Vernon for taking advantage of the Westchester Mutual Aid Plan. Mayor Ernest D. Davis responds when interviewed by PIX11, “So when a fire happens in another community, instead of just shining cars or whatever they do, they are now coming over to help a city in that is in trouble,”
BW reported Davis’ comments rubbed many the wrong way including Yonkers Fire Department Union President Barry McGoey.
“Mt Vernon Mayor Davis’ ridiculous comment was not only an insult to every firefighter in Mt Vernon, but also to every firefighter in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Eastchester, Pelham, Greenville, Hartsdale, Fairview and White Plains who regularly respond to fires in Mt. Vernon,” McGoey tells BW
The Westchester County Fire Mutual Aid Plan is a safeguard designed to allow a city’s fire department in distress to call on a neighboring city to supply fire crews during an extreme emergency. McGoey and others feel Mount Vernon is taking advantage of their neighboring cities and Davis’ comment, ‘…instead of just shining cars…” is a disrespectful slap in the face to those who risk their lives to help out Mount Vernon.
“Mayor Davis may not know it, but when Yonkers Firefighters are not in Mt Vernon on mutual aid, we are not ‘shinning cars” but instead we are responding to fire calls, medical emergencies, automobile accidents, gas emergencies, building inspections, training, etc. This is the “whatever they do” that Yonkers Firefighters “do” when we’re not busy protecting the City of Mt. Vernon.
The mutual aid plan was only meant to help out neighboring cities in extreme emergencies, but because Mount Vernon Fire Department is sorely under staffed and have more fires, cities like Yonkers have extended a helping hand when called even when it’s not an extreme emergency. The blatant disrespect on top of the abuse of the mutual aid plan could cause the surrounding municipalities to no longer respond to calls from Mount Vernon when it’s not extreme emergencies, like they have in the past.
“Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and the elected officials of these other municipalities, whose taxpayers are abused by Mt Vernon on a regular basis, should refuse to provide mutual aid to Mt Vernon (except in the most extreme emergencies) until Mt Vernon learns to respect OUR firefighters and OUR taxpayers. He obviously has no respect for either of HIS own, the Union President tells BW.
Mount Vernon City Councilman Richard Thomas, who many believe may be running for mayor in the upcoming election, despite the fact he hasn’t officially announced yet, agree with McGoey that Davis’ remarks are an insult to every firefighter and feel firefighters deserve an apology.
“This is no laughing matter and the Mayor must apologize for his insensitive remark,” Thomas tell BW. “I stand with our bravest and urge all New York Firefighters to join me in demanding an immediate apology from Ernest Davis.”