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Council votes to approve firefighter promotions for rescue truck

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WATERTOWN — Four captains will be assigned to the city fire department’s new rescue truck when it goes on the road later this month.

By a 3-2 vote, the City Council decided to promote four firefighters for the rescue truck.

The fire department will use a Ford F-550 pickup truck for the new version of the rescue truck.

Fire Chief Matthew R. Timerman said after the meeting that the new rescue truck should be on the road for the first time next Tuesday.

As was expected, council members Lisa A. Ruggiero, Cliff G. Olney III and Patrick J. Hickey agreed to promote the four firefighters so the city will no longer be violating Civil Service Law by paying them out of title. Promoting the four also resolves an arbitration case that the Watertown Professional Firefighters Association Local 191 filed against the city, City Manager Kenneth A. Mix said.

Councilwoman Ruggiero said she talked to City Attorney Robert J. Slye about the issue and he told her that “it was in our best interest to do this.”

Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith and Councilwoman Sarah V. Compo Pierce were against the move because of ongoing costs to pay for promoting four firefighters to captains.

“It’ll be a continuous, reoccurring cost,” Mayor Smith said.

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