Steve Buscemi Will Rally to Save Engine 220

Park Slope Patch - May 24, 2011

by Kristen V. Brown

The actor will join local politicians on Wednesday to protest the closure of the 11th Street firehouse.

Now Hollywood is fighting for our firehouse.

Actor and Park Slope resident Steve Buscemi will join Councilmember Brad Lander and Public Advocate Bill deBlasio on Wednesday morning in a rally to save Engine 220, the 11th Street firehouse that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced he plans to shutter, along with seven others across the borough.

This isn't the first fire station fight for Buscemi, who himself worked as a firefighter from 1980 to 1984. In 2003, the "Fargo" star was arrested after locking elbows with local politicians to protest the closure of the Engine 204 in Cobble Hill.

''If your house was on fire, would you wait one minute to call the Fire Department?'' Buscemi told the New York Daily News at the time.

The firehouse is one of only two fire stations in Park Slope. Closing the station, which also serves Windsor Terrace, will significantly delay emergency response times in the neighborhood.

According to City Council statistics, if the 11th Street station is closed, the first arrival time would jump from 3:38 to 4:08 seconds (a 19 percent increase), and the second arrival would go from 4:08 to 5:24 (a 30 percent increase).

"An extra minute to get an engine company to a fire can be the difference between life and death!" Lander said today in a letter to the community.

Assemblymember Jim Brennan will hold a second rally on Thursday evening. Hundreds of shocked residents have also fired off letters to Bloomberg, imploring him to keep the station open.

"Mayor Bloomberg has his priorities in all the wrong places," Lander said in a statement after the news broke last Wednesday.

"If the Bloomberg Administration is allowed to proceed with this closure, arrival times at fires will increase dramatically in our neighborhood."