Press Releases

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2008

STATEN ISLANDERS & FIREFIGHTERS PROTEST FDNY CLOSURES

Elected leaders, community activists, residents and business leaders joined with New York City Firefighters to protest the proposed night time closure of FDNY Engine 161 in Staten Island. The rally took place outside Engine 161 and Ladder 81 on McClean Avenue in Staten Island.

According to a plan announced by FDNY Commissioner Nick Scoppetta, on January 17, four FDNY fire companies are stated to be closed each and every night between the hours of 6 pm - 9 am and one on Governor's Island will be closed entirely. In addition to E-161, other fire companies slated for night closures include: Engine 4 in Manhattan; Engine 271 in Brooklyn; and Ladder 53 in the Bronx.

"In the post 9-11 world the FDNY's expanded role to protect New Yorkers simply can not be accomplished by service reductions," said Steve Cassidy, President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

It was also just weeks ago that Lieutenant Robert J. Ryan of Engine 155 lost his life in an overnight fire in the New Brighton section of Staten Island.

According to FDNY statistics, two thirds of civilian fatalities take place at night. Also according to FDNY, in the last four years New York City Firefighters have responded to the most emergency calls annually than in the entire 143 year history of the FDNY, with this trend continuing with the increasing volume of overall emergency calls.

"With fire companies busier then ever responding to a growing number of emergency calls, now is certainly not the time to simply abandon night time protection for the people in these communities." Cassidy added, "While it is clear that the city is facing difficult financial times, you just can not place a dollar value on human life."