Urging Immediate Implementation of Fire Safety Task Force Recommendations

Thomas K. Duane

September 20, 2012

On September 19, I joined New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and New York State Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, who spearheaded legislation mandating the creation of a task force on how to close major holes in the safety code at hundreds of state-owned buildings throughout New York City, in calling for that body’s recommendations to be implemented immediately.  The New York City/New York State Task Force on Building and Fire Safety, led by Fire Department City of New York Commissioner Sal Cassano and New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jerome Hauer, released findings in late July that confirmed our worst fears but provided a roadmap for bringing state-owned buildings up to City fire safety standards.  However, the report will only be worth the paper it is printed on unless swift and decisive action is taken to implement the recommendations and fix the serious problems outlined.  In my 14 years in Albany I have seen time and time again task forces and reports that sound good but are never acted upon.  The stakes are too high in this instance to ignore these findings.