Exclusive: CBS 2 Obtains Partial List Of FDNY Company Closures

As Many As 20 On The Block, Including Responder To Wall Street

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The secret is out.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has learned exclusively some of the fire houses on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chopping block. Some say shutting them down could put your safety at risk.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone with the details

Twenty fire companies are on death row including, sources said, Engine 271 in Bushwick. And unless there’s a last-minute reprieve communities all across the city could be in danger.

“It’s very serious. Mayor Bloomberg is asking the Fire Department to roll the dice on public safety. If you close one fire company, let alone 20, even one fire company will impact the safety of New Yorkers,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, D-Queens.

“When response time goes up you’re talking about loss of property and loss of life,” added Councilman James Vacca.

Vacca is all fired up about the expectation that Ladder 53 on City Island — in his district — is on the closure list.

“We know our budget is bad but no one can justify jeopardizing life and limb and public safety,” Vacca said.

Sources told Kramer that others expected to be on death row are Engine 161 on Staten Island and Engine 4 at the South Street Seaport.

When Engine 4 left the firehouse on a call Wednesday, firefighters wondered whether it would be among their last in the dense Wall Street area near ground zero.

Kramer asked fire union official Edward Boles to explain, for example, what closing Engine 4 would mean for fire safety.

“Engine 4 is the first engine to respond if there was any tragedy at Wall Street,” Boles said. “Wall Street is the economic capital of the world. They’re also a mass de-con unit, so if there was a major terrorist attack they would be the first ones to help out.”

People who live and work in the area are terrified.

“It’s such a compact neighborhood that you need someone here to respond quickly to any type of fire because it would spread like wildfire,” said Tom Rooney, who works in the area.

“Its scary, it’s absolutely scary. I don’t know what else to say,” Lower Manhattan resident Toni Sosinsky said.

“A lot of new apartments around here. All of these office buildings have become apartments, so I don’t think you should close it down. When you look at the density of the amount of people who are moving down to the Financial District, now they need it,” added Michael Springer, who also works in the area.

And Boles has a message for Mayor Bloomberg:

“Please, for the sake of the citizens of New York City and for their safety, don’t put dollars before lives,” Boles said.

The FDNY is already operating with nearly 600 fewer firefighters. City officials said it doesn’t expect to release the full list of the doomed 20 until sometime next month.

Agree with the fire company cuts? Think the mayor is putting lives at risk? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • carmine

    stop funding art shows, cut drug programs, Kathy is a jerk and a liberal.

  • Just Fed Up

    Go the the NYC Comptroller’s office website. You’ll notice that good old Bloomberg spends somewhere around $5000 every three days or so on “Food, Drinks and Snacks” for the Mayor’s office. Many times it’s more than that also. So I say he goes on a diet and stops spending OUR money to make himself more fat.

  • Michael P

    This is absolutely ridiculous. To say nothing of the fact that the FDNY, our very own HEROES aren’t getting the respect they so rightfully deserve from the people who are supposed to be our LEADERS is horrible enough. But now to put the entirety of the general public at risk to save a few dollars? Fire duty is UP CITYWIDE people, BIG TIME. No joke. Every boro is responding to atleast one serious fire each day, but most (Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and usually Queens) are responding to much more than that, and most of said fires are of 2 alarms or greater. For those that don’t know, a Second Alarm brings 8 Engines, 6 Ladders, a Heavy Rescue, Squad, 4 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Deputy Chief, Safety Battalion, Special Operations Command Battalion, RAC Unit, Tactical Support Unit, Field Communications, Satellite Unit, and that’s just the BASIC response to a Second Alarm. They usually need more than that since Engines and Trucks are both running with short crews (4 men on Engines and Ladders missing an important position, the Outside Vent, one of the guys most likely to, and probably the most likely one to save you if you need saving). Firefighters are getting hurt because they’re shorthanded as it is. There were several Maydays at a fire in Queens on Saturday (4/9/11), one of the Firefighters had to be rescued by the Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST Team). Another Firefighter had to bail out a window secured to the windowsill with nothing but a metal hook to escape the flames. There was no one to help him. People are getting killed because FDNY is shorthanded. People are getting severely hurt, disfigured, because FDNY is so short handed. And to those who say the volunteer system is the way to go in NYC – that’s the way the FDNY was when it was first started (Read: So Others Might Live: A History of New York’s Bravest; the FDNY from 1700-Present, author Terry Golway). The FDNY WAS an all-volunteer department. The problem was, the City of New York and all its boroughs is so massive and so heavily populated that the only effective measure turned out to be a Full-Time Civil Service Paid Fire Department. New York’s Bravest were born of volunteers. But nowadays the City of New York is far too large to rely upon a volunteer system for fire suppression. People, if we keep heading this way we will be headed straight for a repeat of the Great Fire of 1835 which destroyed EVERYTHING from Wall Street to Broad Street and Coenties Slip to the East River, and burned for three days; the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, “The Bronx is Burning” period of the 60’s-70’s, and other such horrible blazes that killed many and destroyed countless lives, homes, and businesses. With our economy the way it is, we could still see a return to the wave of arsons and insurance fires that plagued all of NYC, and especially Manhattan and the Bronx, during the 60’s-70’s. What’s worse, paying a little more for the fire houses to remain open, our heroes at the ready, now… Or to close them, awaiting our next great tragedy, and NOT have our heroes there to help us, to save us, to save our homes, our businesses, our families. For G-d’s sake everyone – the FDNY ARE OUR HEROES! THEY GO TO WORK DAILY, READY TO RUN INTO A BURNING BUILDING TO SAVE SOMEONE THEY DON’T KNOW. THEY RAN INTO THE BURNING WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWERS, NOT KNOWING IF THEY WOULD MAKE IT OUT, TO SAVE PEOPLE THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW! And 343 of them, 343 of the FDNY HEROES NEVER RETUNED HOME THAT DAY. Even more have passed away in the decade since that fateful, infamous day. I personally have a friend who recently passed away who was OFF DUTY when the airplanes hit, but STILL headed right for Lower Manhattan, and was there when both towers came down. He stayed and helped people he didn’t even know. Sadly, he recently succumbed to illness resulting from that day, to include Lung disease and Kidney failure, among other things. What ever happened to the love that everyone had for our beloved Firefighters of the FDNY? Where has it gone? And why is everyone so willing to give them up? No matter what happens, a Fire Fighter will ALWAYS have so much love for his or her fellow man or woman, that they will give their life in a heartbeat to save anothers’. They never let you down. So please, don’t let them down.

  • HG

    THANK YOU to Engines 1, 3, 14 and Ladders 12 and 24 for their TWO MINUTE RESPONSE to our smoke-filled co-op building tonight. As they arrived, the smoke became fire in one owner’s unit. They quickly extinguished it, but if they had arrived 5 minutes later, things would have been a LOT different. And if the proposed closing of one of the firehouses in my neighborhood goes through, the response time to something like this could easily be that much longer.

    I’m not here to do anything other than share our experience tonight, one that could happen to any New Yorker. And to note the top-down solid, professionalism of those who responded. So you can imagine where I stand on this issue, without apology

  • Mike

    Mayor Bloomburg does not like the FDNY because he believes we are not a “productive” agency. I guess he doesn’t realize everything that we do besides responding to fires. One big thing is medical calls. Our response time is less than 5 minutes. Years ago before engine companys responded to medical calls the EMS response time was totally unaccepable. That’s why Mayor Guiliani wanted engine companys trained as certified first responders to go on medical call in addition to EMS. This increased an engine companies calls by @ 30% on average. Other emergencies we respone to are: water, gas, steam, electical, auto accidents, stuck elevators, down trees & wires and carbon dioxide emergencies. We also do building inspections. Another huge point that no one seems to be addressing is relocation. This is when there are fires, major catastrophies(9-11, plane crashes, bus crashes,ferry crashes, etc.) or just if a unit will be out of service for an extended period od time(maintanence, training, medicals). As Mayor Bloomberg closes fire houses; that leaves less companies available to cover those areas that out of service due to the emergencies mentioned above. So, what happens is that the response time increases in fire department depleted areas. If several occur simutaneously it is a receipe for disatser. Before these closures several other fire houses have been closed. Some even after 9-11. Ludicrious.

  • Grit

    City contractors are robbing the city blind! A friend just told me what the city paid for some building renovations. The numbers were staggering.I can not imagine what contractors are milking the city for
    in road repairs,schools,courts,precincts,subways,etc…
    Who authorizes this? And how do I get to bid on these contracts? LOL.
    I think someone has his hand in the cookie jar!
    can anybody tell me how much money Bloomberg has made since he’s been mayor, as apposed to years prior?
    And not to mention his billion dollar UCT system failure.
    How about this one, The city just spent 50 million on a piece of property in the bronx for our new location for 911 system…..it turns out that the luchase crime family bought that same property several years ago for 4 million!
    Bottom line is the budget will never be balanced, And NYC needs its fire services. Because with out them our lives are in jeopardy…FACT!
    lets not bash the unions, lets not tax the rich, lets just step back and take a deeper look into the BOOKS. Im sure its all there in black and white.
    If this country wants to save money just start DEPORTING ILLEGAL ALLIENS.

  • pete

    My family lives in Bushwick and has been helped out by members of E 271 on several occasion. A friend’s live was saved by the quick actions by the members of this unit when he was having a heart attack. If it was not for there quick response and medical training this man would have died. Now you want to close this company??? What if it were your mother sister brother father or child who needed this help but no one was able to do the job because they were closed by the Mayor. How would you feel. Increase the taxes, find the monies that have been stolen from the city by crooked politicians and the millionaires on Wall St. who are able to be bailed out by the taxes that we pay to the federal gov’t . Many fines that have been given to the owners of real estate throughout the city of New York but have never been collected. Why??? could it be that many are connected to the power that be in city hall and wall street. Get rid of those political patronage position that have been created throughout the city’s administration. If these cut go through, I hope people will not lose there lives because of these dangerous moves that are being instituted by Mayor Bloomberg. If you or any of your friend or relatives are affected by these cuts you should be voicing your objections to your councilmembers, seantors, congressmembers, and legislators. Remember it could be you one day that needs the help of a firefighter in your area but it may not come on time because they may not be there due to the reported closings of companies in your area. Make your calls now before it is too late voice your opinion. Call those who maybe able to stop the closings also dial 311 and have them pass your message on to the Mayor’s office. Remember that in an emergency seconds mean the difference between life and death and if there are closings you can bet there will be delays that may cause you or a loved one to lose there life. REMEMBER THAT TO CITY HALL YOU MAY ONLY BE A NUMBER BUT TO A FIREFIGHTER YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING THAT IS WORTH SAVING.

  • nobama been lyin

    I don’t agree with closing any firehouses but to close down the City Island firehouse is insane. You have to cross a draw-bridge to get to the island! Dangerous.

  • Richard Scarpato

    If fire companies are closed people will evevtually needlessly die. It will only be a matter of time. These deaths will be on Bloomberg’s hands.

    • Tinker

      Typical response….Don’t take away our money or people will die!!!. It’s getting as old as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton’s rants about everything/everyone’s racist, and the democrats saying that reforming social security is going to kill grandma. Blah blah blah blah

  • brooklyn4ever

    All I know is that 10 10 house on Liberty would get to Wall and Broadway in I’d say all of 2 minutes while 4 house would get to the opposite end of Wall and Water in the same time since they are basically right there. We need 4 house to remain to take care of that end of the Financial District, the Southstreet Seaport and the FDR. Too much time would be wasted if the reliability lied solely on the only other companny nearby being 10 10 house. And if 10 10 house were on a run, it would be a disaster. I wonder what the powers that be actually thing in order to conclude the way that they come up with the “savings”. Lives just don’t matter.

  • PMC

    No money for fire protection; but we had $800,000,000 to waste on that boondoggle known as CityTime., another few million for needless signs saying the Triboro Bridge had been renamed, and countless illions on trying to build the Jets a stadium in Manhattan.

    Interesting priorities.

  • Toby

    Historically Firefighters have been a respected group of people in our communities, and most still are. Unfortunately, some have become so self important and have taken on an air of entitlement that the profession is beginning to take a hit. Seeing Firefighters on TV in their turnouts at protests in Wisconsin and Ohio sure hasn’t helped this trend. Having their associations involved in union goon tactics (Union grove Wisconsin) doesn’t help much either. Most Firefighters ( volunteer and full time) on both sides of the political spectrum are hard working, respectful, level headed people. The problem lies with the kool aid drinking union blockheads that refuse to look at the big picture.
    We are broke, and we have to fix it!!! Let’s also remember that our country is full of brave people that don’t happen to drive firetrucks and receive fat union benefits.

    • Grit

      We are broke, and we do have to do something about it. we can’t close our fire houses! The FDNY is responding to more emergencies now then it ever has. And if you don’t think the terrorist will use the closing of fire companies to their advantage your Delouginal. in any emergency situation, time is of the essence. Plenty of money to be cut from other agencies, and plenty to be saved by propper planning and making wise decisions. Toby, are you a volunteer fire fighter/EMS?

  • JerseyJK

    But at least we still have the Assistant Secretary to the Deputy Director of the Sub-Council on Housing Improvement. Pathetic

    When will libs stop using cops and firemen as human shields to protect the backoffice bureaucratic paper pushers?

    • natb1

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      I’m coping your near perfect comment for other boards. 8o)

  • Charles R Dennis

    The comment, “bad idea” doesn’t nearly hiti the mark. Such action is CRIMINAL. This is a wholesale risk of lives and property, and criminal action should be taken. The solution is to get rid of Bloomberg, his cronies, and his consultants.

    Rudy Giuliani is the only one who recognized how to make the city prosper: to improve city services and offer tax relief.

  • Lionel

    Good Lord, the answer isn’t to tax more, but to spend less!!! Why is this so difficult to understand? Your budget should include priorities, such as what can this city not do without? Police, fire, and rescue, and the associated facilities should have the highest priorities. All these ridiculous social programs being paid for by the city should be the first things on the blocks. The idiots looking into salt consumption, sugar, trans fats etc should all be out on their collective butts. Anyone collecting welfare should have some sort of work to accomplish to receive it, preferrably to benefit the city. Rehab centers, drug and alcohol programs, clinics, while all great ideas should not be paid for with public money. Just like your personal budgets, you have to set priorities that benefit you the most. Sounds harsh?? Just wait until the Chinese call in their markers.

  • natb1

    Its all political. The beloved Dems probably want to “show” Americans what its like to be without Government protection. But its a false choice between responsible government and no government. eliminating vital services is not the only option. Renegotiate benefits packages for all public workers so they have a little more “skin in the game”.

    Reduce the size and jurisdiction of ALL GOVERNMENT.
    Get rid of useless, cushy, “bean counting” jobs & some “crucial” political offices (& staff) all together. The overhead costs of government far exceed what is tenable in private business.

  • joeblough

    Bloomberg had plenty of money for building little parks in the middke of Broadway, reducing the width of major avenues with pointless bicycle lanes and messing about with Central Park.

    This is a matter of priorities. And Bloomberg’s priorities are sick.

  • Hank Warren

    No money for Fire Depts but plenty of money to support endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here:

  • Hale Merry

    I saw a puerto rican pay for groceries with a food stamp card while talking on an I Phone. How can this be? Too poor to pay for own food but has enough money for an I phone and cell phone contract?

    Work Harder! People on Welfare are depending on you!!!!

    • Grit

      Hale merry, then he got in his Cadillac escalade! LOL it’s unreal, I guess we are the only ones that see it.

  • Hale Merry

    Why instead of taxing the rich, why don’t you poor people get an education, stop breeding like rats, and get a better job?

    That’s what I did. Stop taking me Sooo much and take care of yourselves.

    Work Harder!!! People on Welfare are depending on you!!

  • Lighthorse

    Bloomie is going to collect all the happy meal toys and have them dropped on any fire that happens.

  • TheMadKing

    Why not shut down the food police? Better to die middle-aged and fat than young and burned to a crisp! How about minority outreach and EEOC programs? Or green boondoggles? Liberals, behold what you hath wrought. New York may burn so you may fiddle with taxpayers dollars, of which the FIRST appropriations should be for public safety! Excising bone to keep the fat. .You must be so proud.

  • Sam

    yeh, lets’ Tax the “Rich”, there are still a few that haven’t left yet….

  • Sam

    same old same old,,,, blackmail taxpayers by firing police and firemen instead of useless administrators and slugs…

  • Joe America

    classic leftist …. lay off firemen instead of teachers or clerical workers. Good for him and if we are lucky then maybe the whole city will burn down and they won’t need firemen anymore…. get rid of the police and after the riots are over you won’t need police anymore either!

  • peterwoohoo

    Cut the Welfare/ Medicaid $$$$ parasites. Hey Mayor, guess NY needs those billionare taxpayers…….right?? What a mess, nobody gives in and there’s nothing left to giveout. Guess we are like Wisconsin…… doin the job without.

  • http://swamphermit.wordpress.com/ Karmi

    Governments have become too big and their unions too supportive of the Democratic Party, at taxpayer expense. Lots of government employees will be laid off over the next few years…lots.

  • Alex

    Of course its very bad, but this is what happens when you run out of money. Have to start making some very difficult decisions. Let’s face it, if we wanted to be REALLY REALLY safe we would have a fire department on each corner. We don’t because its unfordable and cutting 20 firehouses may make things a little less safe but that is part of an unfortunate reality of a city that can’t support iteself anymore. When are politicians going to wake up to the reality that many of their constituents fully understand.

  • tommy richards

    typical government solution to resolving state’s financial issues – always threaten to take away the useful or critical issues of state’s responsibilities – never include programs such as reducing parasitic handouts – welfare checks.

  • 34 year Vet

    The union will not allow reducing ther number of firefighters on a rig they would rather shut down fire houses.Is it your safety they care about or is it the size of the union.

  • robert g

    Wouldn’t they be better off closing the food police department. You know the ones that think banning salt is a good idea. The ones that want to control what you eat.

  • Gray Ghost

    Tax the poor, there are far too many people in this country who pay no taxes. Set a minimum tax for everyone in this country who has any income to pay. Get rid of all unions in this country as they serve NO useful purpose.

  • Off Duty

    What part of “BROKE” don’t you lefties get? We’re broke!

    • Grit

      Hey off duty, if we are so broke why don’t we just close the slowest precinct in the city and have the neighboring precincts handle the work.

  • Randolph Truth

    One Wall Street bonus could keep these stations open. Bloomberg himself could write a check. Maybe GE could throw in. Maybe we could ease up tax credits to film productions that are going to shoot in NY anyway.

    At the very least, transfer the firefighters to the police department and let’s better protect our vulnerable subway system.

  • JohnF

    This appears to be nothing less than the old political trick for not cutting taxes or spending. Why if we cut taxes we’ll have to cut spending on fire and police and close the hospitals!!!! Instead of cutting spending on all the unnecessary cr@p they waste our money on…….

  • ronnie from morris park

    Jimmy the Weasel Vacca fell for Billionairebergs “Only I can save the city from financial ruin” and allowed him to run for a third term. This is what we get. Albany this,the Federal that on why we have this problem is nonsense. Weeks ago we had 3.4 billion to build parks by the water in some grand scheme that only Billionaireberg understands. Let’s go back to all the money wasted in that secret slush fund Billionaireberg and the city council was using a few years ago and find out if that money is sitting somewhere again. Firehouses and teachers yes, parks by the water no.

  • Kathleen

    The little despot, Bloomberg, is most likely clearing out the fire houses so that the hordes of illegal aliens (aka supporters/voters) he welcomes will have tax-paid housing. Next week this inch worm will probably mandate New Yorkers eat Mexican food, bought exclusively from the carts pushed by the illegal aliens.

  • popeye

    Diana said it all. She gets the spincia

  • Shinea

    How many were laid off because he spent all that money doing gun “sting” operations in DIFFERENT STATES?

  • Diana

    Eliminate some of the overpriced consultancy gigs and keep the firefighters – Bloomberg is too impressed by fancy MBA degrees and corporate resumes. He should be more in touch with the achievements of the workers who really make the city function!

  • Rocco

    Suggestions for Bloomie to reduce the budget:
    Cut welfare.
    Don’t allow 98% of the FDNY to retire on disability and get 75% pensions tax free.
    Don’t waste money doing investigations at Arizona gun shows when gun ownership is a constitutional right.
    Stop paying teachers $100+K a year and giving them amazing benefits when they do a job that is just not that difficult and they get 3 months off a year.

    I can think up more if you need them.

  • d2

    but keep those methadone clinics open @ 60 mil year

1 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live