MINOA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– It was a packed house at the Village of Minoa board meeting Tuesday night, filled with firefighters not happy with the way the department is being run by the new chief. Fifteen of them have even submitted leaves of absence recently, meaning they’re not answering calls when the siren sounds, but instead are sounding the alarm.

“I felt as if I were to stay in this department and respond to calls I would not feel safe riding those fire trucks, I would not feel safe protecting the public and with the current leadership and the strain on the department I felt like it was unsafe,” said Tyler McTomany a former volunteer firefighter at the Village of Minoa Fire Department. He recently resigned over the controversy. 

No one is spelling out exactly what this fire storm is all about, but the Mayor addressed the situation at the beginning of the board meeting saying in part: 

“First off we’re handling the personnel matter and a pending investigation is going on, so there’s really no comment I can make on any of that.”

Village of minoa mayor, bill brazill

That’s another issue the firefighters have, they believe personnel matters should be handled inside the department, not through the Village Board. 

“If people had to be suspended from the fire department for their actions that’s what happened, but now it’s over here at the Village Board and they’re handling it and the fire department has no say in it,” said Village of Minoa Fire Department life member, Charles Mullane. 

Homeowners in Minoa are now worried that with nearly half of the department walking out the door, many of them trained interior firefighters, their safety is at risk.

“It could be my house or my neighbors house on fire and it takes now 15-20 minutes to get a full crew here.”

kelly Modelewski, minoa resident

But Mayor Brazill assured his residents at the board meeting that there’s adequate coverage in case of an emergency.

“I have a lot of different options at any given time, all I have to do is make a phone call and I’ll have the station filled with guys if we needed them,” he said.

Many firefighters are questioning what those other options are as they worry call times will be much longer if they have to rely on neighboring departments. 

Mayor Brazill said at the board meeting he’s hoping to have the investigation wrapped up in the next 10 days or so.