Union Boss Gives Bloomberg Third Degree Over Spike in Burned FDNY Firefighters

NY Daily News - September 20, 2011

by Joe Kemp DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Firefighters suffered more burns on the job last year, city records show - and union bigs are blaming staffing cuts.

Statistics in the Mayor's Management Report reveal that 347 Bravest were burned between July 2010 and June 2011 - a 45% spike compared with the previous year.

Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy said that staffing each engine company with four firefighters instead of five - a practice that began last February - contributed to the spike.

"In my view they are a direct result of the mayor's staffing cuts," Cassidy said. "And as we move forward, the likelihood of further injuries is increased significantly."

But FDNY officials said the jump in burns is due to a boost in the number of blazes.

"This is a spike, and it's largely related to the work load and not the staffing issues," said FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon.

Overall, injuries to city firefighters increased modestly, with 11,210 smoke-eaters hurt, about 3% more than the 10,914 injured the year before.