Geneva City Councilman Ken Camera has clarified comments he made at a meeting last week, which led to outrage in the community.
“Well, let it burn then, don’t go into it,” Camera said at a city budget meeting, where morale of the fire department and quality of protective gear was questioned.
A clip of the meeting circulated on social media generating thousands of views and hundreds of shares.
Geneva Fire Chief Del Parrotta told City Council that their gear is below standard, it’s expensive to replace, and morale is low among the membership.
Geneva’s fire budget is around $2.3 million right now, most of which goes to paying career firefighters. The city also has around 100 volunteers.
He says very little of the budget goes toward gear and training, which means leaders like Parrotta are left preventing his firefighters from entering dangerous situations.
Standards say fire suits should be replaced every 10 years.
Camera clarified the intent of his remarks to WROC-TV. “If there’s no one in the building, you may have to just hose it down, and not go into the fire,” he added from his original remarks, pointing out that Council simply wanted more information on individual budget lines. “I don’t want to disrespect firemen. I think they’re brave people and they’r doing a public service the same way that we are.”