Photo Courtesy of FDNY
The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York is urging the Adams administration to fully staff all engine companies with five firefighters.
By Forum Staff
The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York on Friday called on the City to fully staff all engine companies with five firefighters.
Just 20 out of a total of 197 engine companies have five firefighters, the union noted.
“This morning on Underhill Avenue in Brooklyn, a fire resulted in a firefighter being taken to the Cornell burn center with non-life threatening burns and civilian being taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. It is clear that having a fifth firefighter on the responding engine companies would have a significant impact on putting out fires faster, reducing the destruction of property and increasing the chances of a civilian surviving a fire,” the UFA wrote in a statement. “Currently, only 10 percent of NYC fire engines are fully staffed with a fifth firefighter, which can help get a hose line in place and water on the fire more quickly. Slowing the growth of a fire keeps residents and firefighters safer. It is imperative for the Fire Department, City Council, and mayor to understand this. During code blue sub-freezing temperatures, it becomes even more challenging to get water on the fire due to frozen hydrants. This is especially important during the peak fire season, when residents use space heaters and sometimes their ovens to stay warm. The City and FDNY need to acknowledge the connections between dangerously cold weather and its effect on fires and public safety and fully staff all engines with a fifth firefighter in these conditions.”
City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park), chairwoman of the Council Committee on Fire and Emergency Management, said she “could not agree more” with the UFA.
“Understaffed engines can cost lives,” she said.