FDNY Expands Siren Silencing Program

Associated Press - April 06, 2011

NEW YORK - (AP) -- In an attempt to reduce traffic accidents, New York City's fire department is expanding a program to reduce the number of lights and sirens used for non-life threatening responses.

Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said Tuesday that the FDNY's "Modified Response" program will be expanded into Brooklyn and Staten Island. It has been in use in Queens since October and has resulted in a 32 percent drop in fire-truck accidents.

The program also calls for firefighters to obey all traffic regulations on all calls that are considered non-life threatening and do not involve fires.

Cassano told the Wall Street Journal that the program also saves on fuel and the wear and tear on trucks.

The firefighters' union president, Steve Cassidy, says the program endangers firefighter and public safety.

Information from: The Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com