“In the last few days I have been in communication with both sides on this issue in the hope of averting a strike. The public’s safety should be of paramount concern, and it is my hope that both sides will recognize this and continue with round-the-clock negotiations until the contract issue is resolved.

I, as well as representatives of the County’s Departments of Emergency Services and Health, have been advised of Rural Metro’s contingency plans in the event a strike takes place. In the event of a strike, it is essential now more than ever that residents use the 911 system only in cases of a true emergency.

The public safety of all Erie County residents is of utmost importance to my administration. I urge the negotiators at the table to keep public safety foremost in their minds as well, and I will make myself available to assist the parties to reach an equitable solution.”