Union Says Firefighter Accident Was Caused By Unsafe Equipment

NY 1 - December 05, 2005

The firefighters union says the city is partly to blame for a traffic accident that left a New York City firefighter critically injured Friday night.

Fire officials say 26-year-old Joseph Moore fractured his skull when he fell off a fire truck that was responding to a call Friday on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Moore remains in critical condition following the accident.

The truck, from Ladder Company 13, was making a left turn onto Lexington Avenue between 84th and 85th streets, when Moore fell off. According to published reports, one of the truck's doors malfunctioned and swung open.

"Taxpayers should be furious with the caliber of equipment the fire department is forcing its firefighters to operate with," Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy said Saturday. "Putting old and unsafe rigs and safety equipment on the streets endangers the lives of firefighters and civilians alike."

In response, FDNY officials say the department "has been proactive in addressing the issue of procuring and repairing fire trucks. In fact, the FNDY has brought in both fire unions in an attempt to work together on this important task. Steve Cassidy is disingenuous in his comments regarding this."

FDNY officials do admit the department's truck supplier has had problems meeting its responsibilities in supplying new vehicles and making warranty repairs.

They say they are putting pressure on the company.

The union says the truck involved in Friday's accident was 20 years old. Sources tell NY that the truck was not the company's regular truck, but a spare that was being used because the regular truck was being serviced.

Spare trucks are generally more than ten years old.