Fredonia hires new firefighter

The Fredonia Board of Trustees hired Daniel Berg as a firefighter in a special meeting Monday.

The meeting was scheduled so Berg could be hired in time to attend the next firefighting academy for the area, which starts Sept. 3. Fire Chief Ryan Walker told the trustees at their previous meeting on Aug. 12 that the next class will be in March, so the department would be running short for months if they don’t hire someone now.

Mayor Athanasia Landis suggested advertising for the position the following day, Tuesday, Aug. 13, then doing interviews that Friday. Walker agreed. “I’d be very surprised if there’s someone on the (civil service) list we don’t know about,” he said. “I can get applications into the hands of those I know of.”

On Monday, Landis said of Berg, “He interviewed quite well. Seems like a nice guy, seems like he wants to stay here.”

Berg lives in Pomfret and works for an Orchard Park company currently, and has been a part-time paramedic for Alstar since January. He has six years’ experience as a firefighter for the East Town of Dunkirk Fire Department.

The mayor said Berg has passed his paramedic exam and results of his civil service test are pending. He is a provisional hire, meaning if those results are poor, he could get terminated. Berg will be making $20.88 per hour.

The board agreed to hire Berg by a 4-0 vote, with Trustee Kara Christina absent.

Trustee Douglas Essek repeated his concerns about getting board business in a timely fashion. He said trustees only got the agenda and resolution to hire Berg a few minutes before the meeting, leaving them no time to review it.

“I don’t understand why, if you interviewed him Friday, we are receiving things five minutes before the meeting,” he said.