Laid off Newburgh firefighter transitions to Beacon Fire Department

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A Newburgh first responder who was laid off in December has found a new opportunity with the Beacon Fire Department.

Chris Baum, who was a three-year veteran with the Newburgh Fire Department, sat down with News 12’s Diane Caruso to share how grateful he is.

“It was good to be picked up by somebody and still have a job,” he says.

News 12 is told the Beacon Fire Department hired Baum and two other firefighters from different areas through the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response, also known as SAFER, grant.

Beacon Fire Department reached out to other fire departments to fill their three open spots, and luckily for Baum, Newburgh happened to be one of them.

"It's a hardship on the department and a hardship also on the family. So it's a good feeling for us that the city of Beacon could pick up someone that was getting laid off," says Beacon Fire Department Chief Gary VanVoorhis.

It’s an added plus that Baum’s new fire chief feels he’s doing a great job, saying in part, “He can drive the apparatus and he's working well, fitting great in with the crews."

Although the $500,000 grant lasts for three years, officials say the city modifies its budget to ensure positions are never in danger of being diminished.

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