BROOKLYN, NY — Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman (D/WF – Brooklyn) once again denounced the closing of six firehouses in New York City after new data showed increased response times in communities that lost engine companies. Response times for residents in Cobble Hill have increased by 47 seconds, bringing total average response times to 5 minutes and 35 seconds, since the closure of Engine Co. 204 on May 25th, 2003.
Engine Co. 204’s communities have been most impacted by the closing of the firehouse on Degraw Street. Millman said, “These statistics are hardly surprising, but extremely disturbing. I have said all along that the community will suffer when the firehouse closes. Response times in Cobble Hill are now nearly a minute above the city wide average. A forty-seven second increase in response times could mean the difference between life and death.”
When the City Administration decided to close six fire companies in New York City, elected officials and community members joined together to express their outrage with this decision. Millman also signed onto a lawsuit to prevent the mayor from closing the firehouses.
Assemblywoman Millman is also joining the United Fire Officers Association (UFOA) and the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) in calling on the Bloomberg administration to release FDNY studies on the full effects of the closing of six engine companies on May 25th. While the Bloomberg administration has released alarming statistics for Harlem and Long Island City, they have yet to release this statistical information for the Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens communities.
“First our firehouse is closed and then the City refuses to admit that lives and property are at greater risk than ever before. I fought hard to save our firehouse for this very reason. I can’t tell my constituents to hold their breath for an extra 47 seconds in a smoke filled room. I am calling on the Mayor to once again reconsider his erroneous decision and reopen our firehouses.”