Utica, NY (WIBX) - It comes after tough budget cuts, but the Utica Fire Department promoted six of its members during a ceremony at Utica's City Hall this morning. The mood was light and festive, as family members and friends gathered to witness the men move up the career ladder.

Fire Chief Russell Brooks said, "You know, we have a leaner administration in leadership but it's a very important day. These people are the future of the department. They will bring in new innovations, new ideas, they're very enthusiastic, and I'm very anxious to start working with them."

Mayor Rob Palmieri says the promotions can seem bitter sweet due to the recent funding cuts however, he adds that the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court decision yesterday to allow the fire department to continue operating its ambulance service, makes it easier to move forward. "There's been five-years of litigation and I think it has come to the point, the realization that we can move forward. I'm looking forward to sitting down with Kunkel [Ambulance Service] and having a very strong working relationship that will benefit the citizens of Utica, New York," he said.

The department filled 1 Assistant Chief position,  2 Deputy Chief positions, 2 Captain positions and 1 Lieutenant position.