Suffolk County Fire Academy budget slashes could affect training

YAPHANK - Suffolk firefighters say new recruits may lose some of the training they need to fight fires because of recent budget cuts. Richard Stockinger, who runs the Suffolk County Fire Academy, says lawmakers slashed the academy's budget by 10 percent in March, so he had to cut the number of new recruit training classes from 18 to 16. Some lawmakers are concerned because the county is working hard to recruit more new volunteers that they may not be able to certify. Selden probationary firefighter Kyle Reimann says he's already feeling the training pinch. He says he wishes he had more training before assisting with last month's wildfires. Budget cuts could also affect ongoing skills training for current volunteers. Stockinger says he's not giving up hope yet. He says the academy, one of the biggest in the country, is looking at other ways of meeting budget needs, like grant money and donations.

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