INFO=NYC Council Fire Committee - 3/08/2012 Latinas Against FDNY Cuts

►►AD-HOC REMARKS following Cmsr.Cassano presentation to Council Fire Committee 3/8/2012 and discussions
Focus on the distinction between firehouse and fire company to clarify the issue and risks and minimize public confusion. UFA arbitration – I reminded that in March2011, Steve Cassidy warned the Fire Cmte. that the July2011 final budget severely impacted staffing arbitration – a budget set at current 4man crew would block future arbitration to 5man crew

Technology – now allows fireground individual FF radio tracking and vehicle-crew tracking and vertical tracking is being developed of specific FF/locator and could finally allow measurement of  real-time response time from 911call until contact with emergency origin/victim

FEES – I suggested VOLUNTARY private home fire safety inspections that could result in insurance discounts
Thank you for rescuing 20 fire companies in budget year FY12 and this opportunity to participate in municipal democracy and comment on tax expenditures and fire safety.

Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day. During 2012, New York civilians and FDNY will observe the 101st Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, when 146 workers died on March 25th, 1911 and also 11th Anniversary of 9/11, which continues to claim the health and lives of responders.

►In December 2011, a man trapped Deloris Gillespie in her elevator, doused and set her on fire. Connie [a founding member of Latinas Against FDNY Cuts] knew Ms.Gillespie from the Brooklyn neighborhood and we attended Ms.Gillespie’s memorial service. CM Letitia James and other electeds were notably supportive to Ms.Gillespie’s family. The 9th Annual Walk Against FDNY Cuts on May 5, 2012—1pm will stop at her building to reflect on her violent murder, done without a gun [event details at http://BrooklynFireAnt.blogspot.com]

►Murder by fire is not rare enough, especially fire attacks on women and families. The Pacific Street arson took the lives of two women and two children. The Washington Street New Year arson took five lives. While FDNY and NYers need restored Fire Marshal staff, clearly mental illness finds deadly weapons in a liquid and a match. Besides the destroyed lives are destroyed homes that lead to homelessness, destruction of property and health, and the disrupted education of many children, housed in shelters away from schools and stability. As I have at other hearings, I demand an accounting of increased costs of homelessness in areas in closed FDNY companies, to compare to the savings of FDNY company closings.

►Reducing fire crews and closing fire companies will not help NYers. Continuous budget threats are a death threat to every infant or elderly or disabled person. Threatening to withhold life-saving is brutal, demoralizing and uneconomical. Understaffing may have contributed to a Brooklyn fire which injured a firefighter who still needs blood donations. Columbia University found that FDNY saves +$3billion per year or +$15million per company. Who tallies costs of sheltering fire victims, jobs lost, school missed, families scattered? Insurance underwriters who closed Fire Patrol — what do they say about increasing fire damage premiums?

►FDNY gives 45days before closing one fire company, let alone up to 62 companies [threatened in some budget years], near schools, hospitals, vulnerable transportation hubs and congested business or residential areas, etc. At City Charter hearings, I proposed imposing impact studies of ecological, environmental, economic social, health diversity and population density before FDNY closes or relocates any fire company, impacting the lives and health of the Bravest and civilians, their
pets, property and homes. The Mayor misdirects, obfuscates, minimizes, trivializes and complicates — but a Queens citizen simplified — 911phones need somebody at the firehouse to respond to emergencies.

►Feb2011 Wall Street Journal — 2010 July-Oct — ►More fires caused delayed response ►Serious structural fires increased 23% ►Civilian fire fatalities increased ►Firefighter burns increased ►Commercial and residential building inspections decreased ►Critical ambulance responses slowed

►Inspect the administration’s vast ponzis: the removal of corner fire boxes, claw-back of fire and cop pensions, subsidies to sports venues, overtime $200million to balance firefighter attrition, modified response modes, the Christmas blizzard, FDNY gloves, radios and hiring test/s, Port Authority’s  separate emergency response system, Citytime and unified 911 dispatch time fraud. Firefighters in 1000° don’t deserve this environment.

►►FDNY MUST ►assign FIVE firefighters to 25 DeCon engines and SOC ladders near closed companies ►Restore Fire Marshals ►Restore engines closed 5/2003 and Engine15 relocated 11/2001 ►NYC cannot ethically close companies or reduce staffing with an aging and obese population, deteriorating infrastructure and housing crisis ►Get a helicopter for high-rise and regional disasters

►All Community Boards should get monthly reports detailing out-of-district and covering companies and borough statistics on inspections, EMS/fire incidents/fatalities, arson/suspicious fires. ►In 2011 CM Sara Gonzalez sponsored street conames for Red Hook Herores Run, Seven in Heaven, and FF Ronnie L. Henderson. ►Latinas Against FDNY Cuts 9th Annual Walk is 5/5/12 — including Engine271.

03/08/2012 NY City Council Fire Committee
Latinas Against FDNY Cuts
"My Tribe Wears Blue and Rides Red Horses"

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