SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The first snowfall of the season for Central New York means it’s go time for the Syracuse DPW and while they prepare the plows to head out into the snow they’re still struggling to find adequate staff needed to get the job done. 

Syracuse DPW Commissioner Jeremy Robinson said Tuesday during a press conference that the department is still down 8-10 drivers and is in need of five additional mechanics. Of the roughly 40 drivers they currently employ, nearly half are new drivers to the city of Syracuse.

“It’s like I’m begging people to come here to work and drivers are a premium it’s not just Syracuse DPW it’s everywhere in the nation.”

Jeremy Robinson, Syracuse DPW Commissioner

For the new drivers, Robinson says experience is what they need and this first snowfall will give them an opportunity to get into the plows and get used to operating such large equipment. 

“This little dusting is just going to turn into a couple of inches and a couple inches turn into a couple of feet and if we get hit like Buffalo’s getting hit we need to be prepared and some of our drivers need to get experience quickly.”

Jeremy Robinson, Syracuse DPW Commissioner

Luckily, Robinson said the plows are in the best shape he’s seen them in years and they’re all now equipped with an electronic GPS device that will help new drivers better navigate the city. 

As for how the public can help ensure this winter season is smooth, Robinson urges drivers to obey the parking signs adding that cars illegally parked are their biggest hindrance in getting streets cleared. If you see a car illegally parked, Robinson says you should call 911. If you have a plowing concern you can also contact Syracuse DPW at 315-448-CITY.