Press Releases

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2010

Fire Union Leaders & City Council Members Denounce Proposed Fire House Closings

City Hall Press Conference to Protest
FD Possible Firehouse Closings - Video

Over 100 New York City Firefighters joined leaders of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, other FDNY unions and New York City Council leaders on the steps of City Hall to denounce the proposed closure of 20 firehouses and up to 42 more based upon the state budget allocated to the city. The news conference took place prior to the City Council's Fire and Criminal Justice Committee budget hearings on the closures proposed by Mayor Bloomberg.

The Council delegation which included Council Members Elizabeth Crowley, (D- Queens), Chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee; Dominic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Finance Committee; Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens); James Vacca (D-Bronx); Diana Reyna (D-Brooklyn); Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), Dan Halloran (R-Queens) were also joined by community leaders and school children from across the five boroughs.

UFA president Steve Cassidy said, "New York City Firefighters have responded to more emergencies in the last five years than at any other time in the history of the FDNY. Closing firehouses, especially at the levels proposed by the mayor would make it virtually impossible to provide protections at the level New Yorkers expect." He added, "Citizens throughout New York must rally to protect the firehouses because it will certainly affect their own health and safety. Closures mean a dramatic increase in the time it takes to get a fire truck or an ambulance to an emergency and as result, civilians and firefighters will die."

"The fact is fires don't care about budgets," Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens), Chair of the Council's Fire and Criminal Justice Committee. "To cut 20 fire companies at a time when our fire services are responding to more incidents than ever before simply does not make sense. The meager savings derived from the closing of fire companies must be compared to the losses that will accrue from reducing coverage by our already overstretched fire protection."

She continued, "Fire companies are strategically positioned to respond to an emergency within three to four minutes and an average of seven serious fires take place in New York every single day. If we close one fire company, the entire City will feel the impact. Response times to emergencies will increase. We cannot shortchange the safety of New Yorkers by forcing these cuts on our taxpayers. To follow through with these cuts is irresponsible, dangerous and potentially deadly."