Fulop administration reorganizes Jersey City Fire Department to cut overtime costs
Oct 16, 2013 | 5527 views | 3 3 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea announced today that the administration is restructuring the Jersey City Fire Department into three battalions, a measure that they say will place more firefighters on-duty, provide better services for residents, and significantly reduce overtime costs within the department.

Already this year, the Jersey City Fire Department has used all its budgeted overtime funds, roughly $2.6 million, due to what the administration has called “inefficient staffing,” particularly among the department’s captains.

The administration said Wednesday that the restructuring will save between $750,000 and $1 million.

The Fire Department currently has 22 companies that had been divided among four battalions. The number of battalions will now be reduced to three, a move Mayor Fulop said should have been done under the previous administration of Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy when Healy cut the number of companies from 32 to 22.

“The city has been paying far too much in overtime costs for the Fire Department, the majority of which has been a result of inefficient staffing,” said Director Shea. “This measure will allow us to reassign fire captains, thereby eliminating much of the overtime and increasing the safety of our residents. The upgrade of the position of safety officer will also enhance the safety of our firefighters.”

The reorganization will result in additional fire captains being available on all four of the department’s tours, reducing the need for overtime at the captain rank, according to the Fulop administration. In addition, four of the department’s battalion chiefs will now serve as safety officers, a position previously staffed by captains.

“Our goal is to significantly cut overtime while also adding more companies weekly to increase fire protection,” Fulop said in a release issued Wednesday. “We are reorganizing the command structure to redeploy personnel to enhance public safety, increase efficiency and reduce costs…The union will not like these changes. We understand that. But…we are committed to increasing public safety for all of our residents and having city government work as efficiently as possible.”

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October 16, 2013
How does reorganizing the Fire Department create more firefighters working?

Mayor Healy never had 32 staffed firetrucks

The reason there is overtime is because Jersey City has not replaced anyone who has retired

If the goal is to have more firetrucks on duty then Jersey City must hire more firefighters
October 16, 2013
Wow. I'm a labor lawyer representing 8400 municipal law enforcement nyc workers ( down from 10000) and I realize the cost savings are needed in this town. Stop the cranky 1950s patronage. Drop the OT for captains and shrink the FD

November 18, 2013
Shrink the fire department says the lawyer who has no conception of how strenuous it is to fight 1000 degree fire inside of a structure. Nor has he any clue how dangerous it is to fight a fire with an understaffed fire department. Danger, Mr. Lawyer... Something you're probably not familiar with.. The men and women of the JCFD risk their lives on a daily basis. Let's return the favor and keep them safe. Only time will tell if this reorganization helps but shrinking this department any more is moronic. No amount of money saved is worth the life of a citizen or firefighter.