Year after year, we seem to be fighting the same battle over and over again at budget time as the City threatens to balance its budget by shutting down vital Fire Department services.
But public safety is not a budget issue. We must say “no” to the administration and the Mayor’s threats to reduce our fire protection.
Closing firehouses anywhere in the city makes no sense after we saw the catastrophe that might have happened in Times Square a few days ago.
Here in Queens, the Fire Department made a mistake when it closed down our Engine Company 261 on 29th Street in Dutch Kills.
We want to fix that mistake by restoring 261 – and we want to make sure the city doesn’t make another mistake by shutting down Ladder Company 116.
Instead of talking about shutting down fire companies in western Queens, we should be talking about adding new ones because of what is happening here.
The population in Dutch Kills and Long Island City continues to grow. In addition to a strong residential community with homes and schools and churches, we have an expanding business center at Queens Plaza. There are a dozen or more new hotels in the area – and a vital cultural hub brings thousands of people here who expect to work and play in security.
Public safety is not a budget issue. We say “no” to any plan to close Ladder 116. And the community needs Engine 261 returned to service.