Bill de Blasio Public Advocate City of New York

Brad Lander NYC Council Member District 39

ELECTED OFFICIALS, COMMUNITY LEADERS AND FIREFIGHTERS RALLY TO SAVE ENGINE COMPANY 220 IN PARK SLOPE ~ Lander, de Blasio, Markowitz, Crowley join residents and firefighters to save vital fire company from Mayor’s budget axe FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Wiley Norvell 212-669-4813/646-422-9614 Rachel Goodman 718 499 1090/646 319 8665 May 25, 2011

Brooklyn, NY— Councilmember Brad Lander, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley joined Park Slope and Windsor Terrace residents today to rally against the closure of Engine Company 220, at 530 11th Street in Park Slope. They were joined by Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy, Uniformed Fire Officers President Al Hagan, and firefighters from Engine 220. The rally took place eight years to the day since six firehouses were shuttered in 2003, including four in Brooklyn. Engine 220 is one of 20 fire companies around the City, and one of eight in Brooklyn, to be proposed for closure in Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget. If the Bloomberg Administration is allowed to proceed with this closure, response times at fires will increase dramatically for Park Slope and Windsor Terrace residents. Communities served by Engine 220 will see response times for the first engine rise 19% from 3:38 to 4:08, and arrival of the second engine– necessary to get water on the fire– would rise 30% from 4:08 to 5:24. Across the city, 18 of the 20 affected communities would exceed the 4minute standard for initial response set by the National Fire Protection Association, according to a study released by Public Advocate de Blasio. ―An extra minute to get an engine company to a fire can be the difference between life and death.‖ said Councilmember Brad Lander. ―Mayor Bloomberg has his priorities in all the wrong places. He wants to close 20 fire companies to save $55 million, but the City's 'rainy day' fund has $1.9 billion on reserve. Instead of supporting tax breaks for millionaires, or increasing City spending on consultants, the mayor should focus first on keeping our communities safe.‖ ―Ask any New Yorker what they would prioritize in this budget, and the fire company in their neighborhood would top the list. Engine 220 has protected my family for 20 years and there is no one in the world who can convince our community that we’ll be just as safe without these firefighters down the block,‖ said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who was arrested in an act of civil disobedience on May 25, 2003 to prevent the closure of Engine 204 in Cobble Hill. ―Providing public safety is the most basic responsibility of

government, and we’ll fight alongside neighborhoods across the city to keep these companies in action.‖ ―I am flabbergasted that eight engine and ladder companies—nearly half of the 20 proposed closures citywide—are in Brooklyn,‖ said Borough President Marty Markowitz.―If there is any serious thought being given to closing these houses, it needs to be extinguished like a three-alarm fire. Just in the last two weeks, Engine 284 in Dyker Heights—one of the companies on the hit list—assisted with an area fire and their quick response no doubt saved lives. I know we are experiencing challenging economic times, but the truth is, in Brooklyn we need the FDNY now more than ever. Brooklyn is growing by leaps and bounds, which means that in the coming years there will be an ever greater need for New York’s Bravest. It is our collective responsibility to ensure maximum safety for all of our residents—and that means no firehouse closings!‖ Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-30, Queens), Chair of the Fire & Criminal Justice Committee stated: ―The Mayor says we can't have a fire company on every corner but we just want our local ones to stay open. Closing even one fire company will impact response times throughout the City—closing eight companies in Brooklyn alone is irresponsible, dangerous and life-threatening.‖ ―Fire fighters save lives,‖ said Assemblymember Jim Brennan. ―It is basically that simple. Eliminating Engine 220 increases the response time in the event of fires and emergencies. It increases the risk to community residents.‖ ―Mike Bloomberg has touched the lives of all New Yorkers in a real and dangerous way,‖ said UFA President Steve Cassidy. ―The American Heart Association says medical attention following a cardiac event must arrive in six - eight minutes. Closing 20 fire companies will increase response times to patient contact dramatically. Responses to fires, which the city already admits to misleading the public about, will increase by several minutes. The Bloomberg Administration is abdicating its responsibility to protect our city and its citizens. New Yorkers must demand their elected officials fight for the fire companies that protect their family’s safety.‖ ―For the Bloomberg administration to close any more firehouses is a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. But instead of playing with their own lives, the Mayor’s office is playing with the lives of every man, woman and child in this city and that is civic insanity,‖ said UFOA President Al Hagan. First-grade students from nearby PS 107, who have been studying the importance of the firehouse to the community, also joined the rally. ###

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