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Atlantic City firefighters come to rescue in Mullica

Atlantic City firefighters went a distance to help a woman trapped in a well Thursday. The Fire Department’s Special Operations Unit was called to help in Mullica Township after 3 p.m. for a woman who got stuck in a nearly 12-foot-deep well. Rescue 1, Engine 2 and Battalion 1 were able to safely lift the 67-year-old woman to safety after she was stuck for nearly three hours. The woman had major injuries, according to Fire
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State cannot cut Atlantic City Fire Department, judge rules

Cutting Atlantic City’s firefighting personnel to the levels the state has asked for would cause irreparable harm and endanger public safety, an Atlantic County judge ruled. Judge Julio Mendez previously placed an injunction on any reduction to the Fire Department as the case goes through the court. The state wanted to cut the department to 148 with a goal of 124. But anything below 180 would endanger residents, Mendez said Friday as he denied the
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Atlantic City swears in new Class II officers

Atlantic City got nine new officers this week. The residents were sworn in as Special Law Enforcement Officers, commonly known as Class II. The officers have nearly the same training as full-time officers but are paid $15 an hour without benefits and have limited hours. They replace seven Class IIs who were promoted to full-time officers last month. That has not previously happened in Atlantic City, but was allowed due to the lifting of civil
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State, ACFD back in court over staffing cuts

A Superior Court judge will consider whether to lift his ban on Atlantic City Fire Department staffing reductions that would allow the state to cut the Atlantic City Fire Department by a quarter. That will bring the already thin department to a dangerous level for even a medium-scale event, according to two experts who have submitted reports on the fire union’s behalf. But the state says the change to three platoons from four, and an
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Four Atlantic City firefighters transferring to Ventnor FD

Four Atlantic City firefighters in danger of losing their jobs are transferring to a neighboring department. Ron Laielli, Matthew Williams, William Nagel and Joseph Welsh III are four of 85 firefighters hired on a federal grant. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant ends in September. And, although Mayor Don Guardian has said there’s enough money to last until November, the state has indicated otherwise. A memo from Timothy Cunningham, director of the
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Seven Class II officers become full-time Atlantic City police

Seven Class II Atlantic City officers are now full-time officers after a swearing-in ceremony Friday. The city had 72 Special Law Enforcement Officers out of 90 it is approved to hire. The officers work limited hours and are paid $15 an hour with no benefits. The move was allowed to happen because Atlantic City is no longer under Civil Service requirements as part of the state takeover. Prior to that, any Class IIs would still
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Atlantic City mayor will push to extend grant paying firefighters

Atlantic City needs to reapply for a federal grant currently paying the salaries of 79 firefighters, the mayor said Tuesday. A July 5 notice from Division of Community Affairs Director Timothy Cunningham warns firefighters that their positions will be terminated when the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant ends. The affected firefighters would then have to reapply for a “limited number” of spots. But Guardian said he will try to work with the
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Sheriff Balles returning to Pleasantville police work

Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles is returning to his policing roots. After deciding not to seek re-election, Balles will return to the Pleasantville Police Department as a captain, Chief Sean Riggin announced Tuesday. Balles, who was second in command when he left his position of nearly 25 years to become sheriff, asked to return. And Riggin said he happily granted that request. “I am thrilled to have Frank back at our department and I know
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Atlantic City firefighters paid under grant will need to reapply for jobs

Nearly 80 Atlantic City firefighters may have to reapply for their jobs in September, when the federal grant that pays them runs out. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant currently pays the salaries for 79 of the city’s 202 firefighters, Fire Chief Scott Evans said. But when the grant runs out Sept. 21, those jobs will be terminated, according to a notice sent by Timothy Cunningham, director of the state Division of
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Changing ACFD work schedule outside scope of takeover bill, co-sponsors say in court filings

Two Democratic sponsors of the bill that created the state’s takeover of Atlantic City allege Jeffrey Chiesa has overstepped his powers and is endangering public safety. The Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act “was designed to save money by careful planning, not by cutting public services to unsafe levels and endangering the safety of public employees, which I believe the designee (Chiesa) is now doing,” state Sen. Jim Whelan and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo wrote in Superior
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