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FDNY Union: Actually, We Do Run into Burning Buildings

NY Post - September 03, 2017

by Susan Edelman

The union that represents FDNY Capt. Paul Washington has denounced his claim that firefighters “do not run into burning buildings.”

“Yes, we do ‘run’ into burning buildings — it is our job,’’ the executive board of the United Fire Officers Association said in an angry statement. “If one does not react and ‘run’ into a fire upon hearing a report of ‘children trapped’ or ‘people trapped,’ perhaps this is not the profession for you.”

The swift reaction came after The Post reported on Washington’s recent remarks to potential minority recruits at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

“It can be a dangerous job, but it’s not nearly as dangerous as people think,” Washington said in his presentation. “We do not run into burning buildings.”

Washington told the young people an average of two firefighters a year have died on the job “if you take out 9/11.” He added, “It’s a very small risk.”

The UFOA countered, “The dangers cannot be measured by the loss of life alone. Hundreds of active and retired members have been stricken with injuries, cancers and lung ailments from performing their duty.”

Gerard Fitzgerald, the president of the United Firefighters Association, also issued a statement, calling Washington’s assertions “ill-informed and insulting to the brave men and women who make up the FDNY.”

The FDNY said it did not sanction Washington’s presentation.

“Capt. Washington is not a trained recruiter,” said spokesman Frank Dwyer.

“The FDNY Recruitment uni​t has not assigned him to any events.”

​He said the department is reviewing the video to determine if Washington, who wore his uniform during the session, violated FDNY policies.