Firefighters March Over Brooklyn Bridge To Protest Closure Of 20 NYC Firehouses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City firefighters hit the streets Friday, marching over the Brooklyn Bridge in protest.

The protest saw a massive show of support, including community leaders and politicians, rallying against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to close up to 20 firehouses.

“The average taxpayer who thinks their voice can’t be heard, it can be heard, it can be heard today,” Uniformed Firefighters Association leader Steve Cassidy said. “Today’s the day that we let Mike Bloomberg and his cronies realize that we’re going to stand up and fight to keep our firehouses open.”

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: The Crowd Was Estimated At 15,000

The march started at a firehouse in Brooklyn that’s among those that could be shut down.

News of the closures made many people furious, worried about what will happen if a fire erupts at their house.

“They’re all wood. They’ll go up like that. We can’t wait one more second for another company to come. We need this company,” said Philip Wilentz of Brooklyn Heights.

firefighters Firefighters March Over Brooklyn Bridge To Protest Closure Of 20 NYC Firehouses

(credit: CBS 2)

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Broadway Was Wall-To-Wall Firefighters

There have been dozens of protests around the city since Bloomberg announced the closures.

The Mayor’s Office points out that since the last round of firehouse closures in 2003, fire deaths have reached an all-time low. Some people CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne spoke with said it’s not ideal that the firehouses may close, but something has to give in this financial climate.

“You know there are trade offs. There are issues people care about. Sometimes it’s education. Sometimes it’s public safety. There are trade offs that have to be made,” said Bonnie Campbell of Park Slope.Firefighters warn closing fire companies will cost lives. Just last week, Ladder 161, one of those threatened to be closed, saved a man’s life in a Coney Island fire.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports: City Island Residents Worried About Firehouse Closure

Uniformed Firefighter’s Association President Steve Cassidy said if that firehouse was closed, that man would have died.

On City Island, residents are worried about the firehouse closures. The problem there is its isolation.

“If the Pelham Bay Bridge is up, forget it,” said resident Paul Kline. “If the Hutchinson River Bridge is up, forget it, there’s no way to get here.”

Kline has lived on City Island for 17 years. For him, this is personal.

“I had a fire in the house probably 12 years ago. If it wasn’t for that fire company, we would have lost the house,” he said.

The Fire Department points out that while Ladder 53 is slated to close, Engine 70 would remain open.

What do you think about the plan to close city fire stations? Sound off below in our comments section.

More from Peter Haskell
Comments

One Comment

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  2. Bob Fowler says:

    Since there is a major economic recession going on, there must be a reduction in expenses, that is just plain and simple math. I agree with the NYFD that closing 20 houses will result in higher risk of life for many. But math asks the question, where shall we get the money to keep these houses open?

    The NYFD wants you to believe that they are looking out for the citizens of the city. If that is the case, why not offer a 10% reduction in all benefits, and see how many of the houses can be saved? Everyone is having to tighten their belts due to the economy, why not join the rank and file of the populous? Many workers have taken 25% reductions in order to keep their jobs, and their bills haven’t gone down.

    Show us how committed you are to us, the people of your communities, and offer the give back as a means of keeping these desperately needed houses open. Somehow, I don’t see this happening.

  3. BlahBlahBlah says:

    Will someone with an IQ over 50 please make a comment?

  4. al says:

    1. 5 points extra on test for living in City.
    2. Executive board members of both FD unions live in city. No one is told to move.
    3. out of 40 largest cities in US. NY ranks 40th in fire protectiction (companies to population)
    4. Do you eat lunch at work? why can’t I eat lunch or dinner? And it is paid for out of our pockets with our money.
    5. we also inspect: buildings, fire hydrants, subway emergency exits, bridges & tunnesl.
    6. We have school visits to firehouse and do presentations outside of firehouse
    7. 2010 was our busisest year with close to 600,000 responses. We do more than fires: car acciddents/fires, manhole fires, electrical wires down, CO detector investigation, medical emergencies, stuck elevators, water leaks, fuel spills, people hit by trians, cars, etc., unkwon ordors, chemical spills, etc, etc, etc.

  5. john says:

    all of you FDNY bashers are losers hiding behind your computers…

    you couldn’t be a pimple on the ass of a Firefighter

  6. martin burgisser11400 says:

    Lazy slobs that don’t contribute to our society

    1. Nabeguy says:

      No, they just keep it from burning to the ground

  7. DanTe says:

    They care so much about saving lives that they’re out marching miles away from their firehouses.

    1. Gene says:

      On their own time.

  8. Goblin says:

    Did they have a permit to march?

  9. miracle says:

    Christine Quinn is the only elected official who can save us from the mayors dangerous plan. We need every firehouse, every fire company that we have left.

  10. James Gordon says:

    NYC government should consider reduce 20+ year Police Officers, detectives, and management.
    Encourage early retirement – which they can at 55.
    Reduce payroll & benefit cost
    by reducing the POLICE head count !!!!

    Also the police private cars can park anywhere without getting ticketed!!

    Do not just target NYFD,

    At least NYFD which
    they save peoples lives and property

    NYPD like killing people with Black wallets!!!

    1. Wes says:

      James,
      FDNY is not any better. All they do is sit, barbeque, work out and sit again and get the same pay as the NYPD. There are not that many fire calls now days anyway.Besides don’t forget that the fire commissioner tried to have us pay $500 for the FD responding to car accident with injuries. You know they would do their best to show up whether EMS or cops would request them, just to generate the money from our pocket. Last time they announced closing the fire houses because lack off 911 calls. The FDNY guys took it upon themselves to make fake fire alarm 911 calls so that a response to 911 job is generated. All of them have second jobs because of their flexible work schedule. It’s one of the greatest jobs in NYC and they don’t have to write summonses, therefore no revenue to NYC. If I had to pick working between NYPD and FDNY, there is no brainier I would pick FDNY. Oh, and FDNY does not like to hire black and minorities. Not trying to bash FDNY, and it’s not like they are getting fired. It simply means that the “family crew” has to be relocated to different fire houses working with different crew. That’s all. But we are all refuse to change.

      1. Megan says:

        Wes,
        I would hate to see what you had to say if you were bashing the FDNY. You like others leaving some of these comments nned to learn the value of fact checking.

      2. Martin burgisser says:

        Megan does your hole stink? can you get off?

  11. BF says:

    Dale, I’ll have 9 years as an FDNY firefighter in July. I lived for about 2 years in Manhattan, and now live in Queens. NOT once did anyone evenly remotely associated with the FDNY, union or otherwise, give me a hard time about living within the city limits. I’m NOT sure where you are getting your information from.

  12. Fritz Von says:

    CLOSE ALL FIREHOUSES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get out and patrol, like the men do. Why is it ALWAYS a cop, with no fire fighting equipment, who has to rescue people trapped in fires at 3AM? Why are firefighters SLEEPING on duty, WAXING their cars, grocery SHOPPING on duty, getting DRUNK, and playing CARDS, while they’re supposed “protecting” you?

    Historical Mismanagement:
    100 years ago NYPD Officers worked 18 hours tours, 9 hours on patrol, 9 hours hanging around the stationhouse, sleeping, drinking, and playing cards, acting like firefighters. That ended with the invention of the telephone.

    Stop pretending you care about public safety. Get out and patrol for eight hours and 35 minutes a day five days a week. “You can act like a man!”

    1. Ruuue says:

      Lol

    2. Jim says:

      Don’t talk with your mouth full of free dounuts.

    3. martin1122 says:

      another disgruntled cop what pct are you in

  13. Peter says:

    Should close an additional 25 more – they a a bunch of useless booze hounds living like they are in a frat house.

  14. Big Nard says:

    I bet more half the firefighters in the city voted for Mayor Bloomberg. Who voted for this clown to remain in office?

  15. JD says:

    Adam, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  16. Adam says:

    FDNY personnel have been stealing and ripping off the city and tax payers for years and years. I couldn’t be happier they are closing some of these fire houses. And if they fail to do the job the all will be closed. So count your blessings only a few are going. It should be volunteer anyway with the exception of drivers and dispatch. There are many guys who would do this job for free.

    1. efd499 says:

      Adam……………………………….what?

    2. Emily says:

      Closing the firehouses doesnt mean anyone is losing their job. Firefighters are not getting laid off. They will simply be reassigned to other houses that need more manpower. They are protesting the closings because it is dangerous for the city’s residents. Response time will rise, thus more damage and possibly more loss of life. Where the FFs live and whether or not they “steal” from the city is not the issue here. Those who are simply bitter towards the Dept., save it. This isn’t about the firefighters it’s about public safety.

    3. efd499 says:

      ATTENTION all civilians being affected by FIREHOU&SE CLOSINGs…ADAM here (above me) is very HAPPY about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. Megan says:

      Adam,
      FDNY personnel have been saving the lives of city residents and tax payers for years and years. I find it very sad that you harbor such negative feelings toward New York City’s bravest. As far people willing to the job for free, I know of many that would not rush into a burning building even if they are paid.

  17. brooklyn4ever says:

    Wanna bet the firehouse where Bloombuck’s lives remains open?

  18. Mr mister says:

    Most of these jerk fire people don’t even live in NYS they are the biggest scammers on the city payroll

    1. efd499 says:

      Where they live is not the issue..its the closing of firehouses idiot…read the article.

      1. Mr mister says:

        your beloved hang outs are getting shut down loser get a real job

      2. efd499 says:

        Mr Mister Douchbag

  19. Maggie says:

    What a bunch of dirtbag loser hetos

    1. Nat says:

      Ha your so right!!!!!!!

    2. efd499 says:

      Maggie what is a “heto” ????

  20. Jig says:

    Where were all these protesters when the Mayor changed term limits?
    Where were they when the election was held?

    NYC is getting what it sowed………

  21. efd499 says:

    My God…next they’ll be closing firehouses in Bermuda!

  22. Jen says:

    Dale – my father was a city firefighter and a one time city police officer – your neighbor is 100% inaccurate. When they get on – they are often living with family and / or friends in the city. When they “grow up”
    and get a real job like we all have to – they can not afford to live in NYC. The union does not force them!!!!!!!!!

    1. Dale Auburn says:

      WRONG.

      My neighbor is the only cop in his precinct who lives within the city limits. Because of that, he gets the worst assignments (with no overtime), key marks on his car, and a fair share of harassment from the other cops. His union rep won’t even talk to him, except to say that all of the above will stop only when he moves out of the city.

      Not only did he not move out of the city, he moved WITHIN the city to an apartment in my building. (I was on the co-op board when he applied to buy in, and he mentioned all of this during his interview. We accepted him right away.)

      1. BF says:

        Dale, I’ll have 9 years as an FDNY firefighter in July. I lived for about 2 years in Manhattan, and now live in Queens. NOT once did anyone evenly remotely associated with the FDNY, union or otherwise, give me a hard time about living within the city limits. I’m NOT sure where you are getting your information from.

      2. Megan says:

        Dale, I feel sorry for you it seems like you are eating a bunch of sour grapes. You should get your facts straight before you start arguing in circles and sounding more like an uneducated jerk. I hope you never need the assistance of NYC’s bravest, but if you ever did they would be the first responders (if their firehouses don’t close). Luckily for you, they do their job and save lives everyday even if those that they are saving are ungrateful fools.

  23. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    FDNY members are he biggest con artists getting 3/4 and raping the city.I hope they close more firehouses and make it a volunteer Fire Department in NYC

    1. efd499 says:

      Thats just an ass of an answer… Mr Bloomberg

  24. nyc says:

    Priorities are all off ! Why dosen’t New York start cutting back on all of the freebies ? ie: welfare , food stamps, housing medical services and who knows what else is given out for free ! Must be $ billions given out ! And, what about the millions of Illegal immigrants working off the books in New York ? Go after and fine the employers like Arizona is , that would pay for a hundred fire houses !

    1. efd499 says:

      Definitely!!!!!

  25. Jeff says:

    Its a shame seeing all theses places close, even worse when your have emergency places that can’t get funding.
    http://www.dailyjobcuts.com

  26. Dale Auburn says:

    Maybe the FDNY should be allowed to hire actual CITY residents as firefighters instead of giving absolute priority to suburanites. (Right now the unions forbid city residents except for Staten Island.) They can’t effectively “serve and protect” us if they’re not wiling to LIVE AMONG US.

    1. KPMc says:

      What are you talking about? There is no such rule. Residents of all five boroughs are eligible. If anything there is a city-resident bonus but I can’t swear to that.

      Way to disseminate mis-information, Dale.

      1. Dale Auburn says:

        Yes, the FDNY “officially” wants firefighters to live here. However, the UNIONS don’t, because any firefighter who lives here undermines the argument that firefighters can’t afford to live here. Ditto for cops (this coming from a cop who used to live near me).

    2. Momo says:

      Dale, you have no idea what you are talking about.
      NYC residents get extra points on the Fire Department exam just for living in the city.

      1. Dale Auburn says:

        Yes, they stay here long enough to get the residency points, then move out to comply with union policy.

    3. John says:

      you are REQUIRED to live in the city at the time of appointment.

      1. Dale Auburn says:

        …and then the union makes youmove away right after being appointed. The unions are hostile to city residents because any firefighter who lives here undermines the argument that firefighters can’t afford to live here.

    4. Jen says:

      Dale – my father was a city firefighter and a one time city police officer – your neighbor is 100% inaccurate. When they get on – they are often living with family and / or friends in the city. When they “grow up”
      and get a real job like we all have to – they can not afford to live in NYC. The union does not force them!!!!!!!!!

    5. efd499 says:

      Slow down and one breath at a time…….Dale.

    6. BF says:

      Dale, you actually get 5 extra points on the FDNY entrance exam if you are a city resident. That’s a fact. I should know. I benefitted from it.

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