Press Releases

For Immediate Release: May 11th, 2010

Citizens March From Engine 293 to Engine 294 to Protest Firehouse Closures

Dozens of New York City Firefighters joined by local school children and senior citizens participated in a march from Engine 293 Woodside, Queens to Engine 294 in Richmond Hill, Queens protesting proposed firehouse closures. Joining the firefighters were U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, New York City Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, State Senator Joe Addabbo, Assembly Member Mike Miller and City Council Criminal Justice Committee Chair Elizabeth Crowley who spoke out against budget cut proposals made by Mayor Bloomberg. "The last five years have been the busiest in the 145 year history of the FDNY. This shows that residents depend more on the FDNY than ever before. It is a fact that closing fire companies or reducing manpower threatens the safety of civilians and firefighters alike," said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

Mr. Cassidy added, "Above and beyond the vital day-to-day role firefighters play in the community, the response to the terrorist attack in Times Square is another reminder of how critically important it is to get firefighters to the scene of an emergency quickly. The Time Square terrorist attack was the 11th plot or attempt to attack our city since 9/11, clearly showing that New York City is the #1 terrorist target. Closing firehouses or reducing staffing levels is dangerous for all communities throughout New York City."" The Mayor has threatened to close at least 20 fire companies effective the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2010.

City Council Fire & Criminal Justice Chair Elizabeth Crowley said, "The Administration found $200 million within the executive budget to maintain our security initiatives -- and this should include the FDNY. If we close fire companies, I certainly will not feel secure. Fires don't care about budgets. We have only one choice when it comes to New Yorker's safety -- and that is to deliver. Closing fire houses is not the answer to New York's fiscal problems."

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said, "Even in times of economic constraints, the safety of New Yorkers must remain a first priority. The Fire Department can't execute this cut without affecting firefighters' response time in some neighborhoods. We cannot lose sight of our priorities, and I am committed to working with the Administration to restore these cuts so that our neighborhoods are not put in peril."

State Senator Joseph Addabbo said, "Our firehouses serve as the firstline of defense for residents of this great city. Losing these firehouses would increase response time and put countless citizens in danger. I want to thank Councilwoman Crowley and my fellow electeds who are working to ensure that this does not happen."

Assembly Member Mike Miller said, "Fire houses provide a life saving service for our community. Making cuts to these essential services is outrageous. In April of this year, it took the FDNY 4 minutes and 20 seconds to respond to fires throughout Queens. Cutting our local fire houses here in Woodhaven will increase this number substantially. Most of the houses in this neighborhood are wood-framed houses, making every second of response time critically important. If the fire department in Cypress Hills is responding to a blaze in Woodhaven, it leaves the residents of both neighborhoods in danger. Closing one fire house creates a domino effect that negatively affects all of our communities. I stand with Council Member Crowley in fighting these cuts every step of the way."