Mount Vernon house fire reignites mutual aid dispute
A house fire Sunday morning has reignited a debate between the Yonkers Firefighters Union and Mount Vernon over the mutual aid program.
The union is blasting Mount Vernon for what it calls an abuse of the mutual aid program. It says the abuse is costing Yonkers taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Mount Vernon firefighters battled a two-alarm fire Sunday on Darwood Place. Departments from Eastchester and Yonkers also assisted, because of the mutual aid system. Yonkers Firefighters Union president Barry McGoey says Mount Vernon has been abusing the system for the past two years.
"Mount Vernon should be providing adequate fire protection within its own city and not relying on other jurisdictions whenever there is a fire," he said.
According to McGoey, the city of Yonkers spent thousands in overtime helping to provide mutual aid to Mount Vernon in the Darwood Place fire.
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis says the union has misplaced priorities.
Yonkers fire officials say that under the former administration, firefighters there were not required to respond to mutual aid from Mount Vernon. They say things have changed under the current mayor.
News12 reached out to the Yonkers mayor's office for comment, but hasn't heard back.