City Releases List of 20 Targeted FDNY Companies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Firefighters from the New York City fire department battle a fire.

    Twenty New York City Fire Department companies are slated for closure in July – three in the Bronx, eight in Brooklyn, two on Staten Island, four in Queens and three in Manhattan, according to a list released by city officials Wednesday.

    City officials stress the list is preliminary and that no final decision has been made.  The budget for fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, is still being negotiated between the City Council and the mayor.

    The list comes two days after Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano told a City Council committee that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts for 2012, including the closure of 20 FDNY companies, will impact FDNY response time and the safety of city residents.

    "The level of cuts we are facing now -- including the closure of 20 fire companies -- will negatively affect response times to fires and life-threatening medical emergencies," testified Cassano.

    Brooklyn will be hit the hardest by closures, with eight units slated for elimination. They include Engine 205 in Brooklyn Heights and Engine 220 in Park Slope.

    In Diana Reyna's city council district alone, the mayor would close three fire companies.  Reyna, who represents the Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Williamsburg neighborhoods, says the cuts would disproportionately affect low income outer-borough communities.
    "I see three fire houses listed in Manhattan for all of the borough in comparison with three in just my district," Reyna said.

    Steve Cassidy, the president of the firefighters union, said "After nine FDNY cuts including, seven fire companies closed and Engine Company staffing reduced (2011) by Mike Bloomberg, the last seven years have been the busiest in FDNY history.  The mayor has been saying that New Yorkers must do more with less and that is just what New York City Firefighters have been doing all along."

    The mayor has argued previous firehouse closures resulted in both efficiency and safety gains.
    "Deaths by fire continue to go down with fewer firefighters and response times are better than ever with fewer firefighters.  That's what we are supposed to do.  Our job is not to spend as much money or have as many employees as we possibly can," Bloomberg said.
    NBC New York obtained a draft of the working memo laying out plans for the closure – and in each case, the document says “surrounding companies are able to absorb the workload.”
    The document also lays out estimated first response times in affected neighborhoods. Response time is expected to increase in all areas but the document finds that those times are “still within the acceptable limit.”

    In one case, the draft says pre-closing response times for Engine Company 206 on Grand Street in Brooklyn will increase from 4:01 to 4:29. At Engine Company 294 in Queens, arrival time is expected to jump from 3:40 to 4:12.

    The list of proposed closures are:

    E004 42 South St. Manhattan
    E026 220 West 37th St. Manhattan
    E046 460 Cross Bronx Expwy. Bronx
    E060 341 East 143rd St. Bronx
    E157 1573 Castleton Ave. Staten Island
    E161 278 McClean Ave. Staten Island
    E205 74 Middagh St. Brooklyn
    E206 1201 Grand St. Brooklyn
    E218 650 Hart St. Brooklyn
    E220 530 11th St. Brooklyn
    E233 25 Rockaway Ave. Brooklyn
    E284 1157 79th St. Brooklyn
    E294 101-20 Jamaica Ave. Queens
    E306 40-18 214th Place Queens
    E328 16-19 Central Ave. Queens
    L008 14 North Moore St. Manhattan
    L053 169 Schofield Ave. Bronx
    L104 161 South 2nd St. Brooklyn
    L128 33-51 Greenpoint Ave. Queens
    L161 2929 W 8th St. Brooklyn