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200 NY firefighters lack EMT recertification

The recertification needs to be done every three years; the union wants to see better organizational skills and management of the program

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo firefighters are required to be Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, as a condition of employment. But as News 4 Investigates discovered, around 200 members are lacking recertification, which needs to be done every three years.

“Their lack of certification means that they have not been tested. They have not had that state exam that would recertify them. And that’s been our problem,” Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said.

According to Whitfield, the training, which involves classroom and practical skills, is done during a firefighter’s normal work schedule with no overtime involved, and could take nearly three months to complete. “We have to take companies out of service and bring them downtown to our classrooms,” Whitfield said. “We’re limited in the number of persons we can take out of service to provide them that training because we must provide protection to the rest of the city.”

Full story: Around 200 Buffalo firefighters lack EMT recertification