NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.- Last February, after just four months on the job, Niagara Falls Fire Chief Roger Melchoir was fired. One year later, the Falls still has no fire chief.
"Definitely the mayor has delayed way too long in hiring a fire chief, by hiring a fire chief it helps control the overtime costs," said Niagara Falls Council Chairman Sam Fruscione. "We had no choice but to employ the battalion chiefs to fill in the shifts."
Fruscione says he believes the move has cost the city in the long run. But just how much is unclear. Base pay for the battalion chiefs in the rotation is about $71,000 to about $72,000 a year, but the final 2011 wages for the chiefs ranged from $107,000 to about $144,000 a year.