Smith to Bloomberg: Keep Fire Houses Open

Malcolm A. Smith

May 26, 2011

(Far Rockaway, NY)-  Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D-Far Rockaway) is calling for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to keep open Engine 328 in Far Rockaway and all of the fire houses around the City that are slated to be closed.
“Fire houses are essential to the safety of our community. It is irresponsible to consider closing even one fire house. New York’s bravest must be fully equipped in order to protect all New Yorkers. The FDNY is already doing more with less and New York City Firefighters do more than just respond to fires - they are the first responders to medical emergencies, gas leaks, terrorist threats, building and scaffolding collapses.  We must keep our fire houses open so we can keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Senator Smith.
Since 2001, FDNY emergencies are up 16%.  Post 9-11, the FDNY is first responder to chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear threats (CRBN). There are 900 less firefighters today than on the day of the 9-11 attacks. Since 2003, the mayor has closed seven fire companies. In February 2011 the mayor reduced staffing in engine companies from five firefighters down to just four. According to FDNY statistics, 2010 was the busiest year in the 145-year the history of the Fire Department. FDNY Emergencies are up 539% since 1960.