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For Release June 1, 2017

Crowley, Fire Union Call for Gear Enhancements in New York City Budget

New York, NY (May 31, 2017) – Every day, when firefighters of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) are called to a scene, they don’t know entirely what to expect. To combat this, the Bravest are equipped with gear to prepare for the unpredictable. They have two jackets, two pairs of pants, two of everything – except for their boots. Firefighters are given just one pair of boots to walk through debris, puddles, contaminants and more.

In the City Council’s Preliminary Budget Response was a call for a highly needed second pair of boots for FDNY firefighters, but Mayor Bill de Blasio excluded this from the city’s budget. City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Chair of the City Council’s Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, and the rest of the City Council are pushing for this initiative in current budget negotiations.

They are working with the United Firefighters Association (UFA) and members of local firehouses, who say they are often faced with working with heavy, wet gear.

“It’s crystal clear that our firefighters need this extra gear to better do their job and to better protect New Yorkers. Not only do these boots get weighed down when wet, but they collect contaminants and other debris that could potentially be trekked into a different location. The FDNY responds to hundreds of calls every day – we need them light on their feet to perform their best,” Crowley said.

The City Council and the UFA are calling on the mayor to include this measure in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, expected to be finalized this month. The boots would be a $4 million, and was included in the City Council’s preliminary budget response.

“Numerous times when firefighters have to work through poor weather conditions and endure difficult and dangerous environments on the job, we are forced to wear wet and/or contaminated boots when duty calls. For us, having a second pair of boots is a matter of safety to ensure we are able to give our best on the job. We support Councilwoman Crowley’s efforts in advocating for a second pair of boots in the upcoming budget,” said UFA President Gerard Fitzgerald.

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