Buffalo Fire Currently Operating Without a Commissioner

Muscarella has been on leave due to injury

May 16, 2018 - 5:29 am

BUFFALO (WBEN) - Yesterday, WGRZ reported that the Buffalo Fire Department is currently operating without a commissioner - and city leaders have expressed concern.

Commissioner Vincent Muscarella went on leave six weeks ago due to an undisclosed injury that he obtained on duty. With former deputy commissioner Jonathan Eaton stepping down to the rank of captain two weeks ago, it's now up to the current five division chiefs to take care of the day-to-day operations of the department.

City Council president Darius Pridgen told Channel 2 that people have to trust the nearly 700 firefighters on staff, and he assures that there is still leadership.

"You know, even if there was a commissioner, I can't assure people that they would get an adequate response," said Pridgen. "We have to trust that our firefighters are committed to doing their job, and there are leaders there, there are still top tiers there."

While Pridgen says response times are normal, he admits that leadership is essential.

"It has not delayed fire response, it has not put life in jeopardy, but every organization wants a leader," he said. "Let me be clear - we need a leader in place."

Pridgen doesn't know the timetable for Muscarella's return, but the department says the commissioner is expected to return at the conclusion of his recovery.

Council member Rasheed Wyatt says administration is currently searching for deputy commissioners.


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