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Thursday, May 6, 2010

FDNY Ladder Company 116 Serving Roosevelt Island, Long Island City & Dutch Kills In Danger Of Closing



The Queens Gazette is reporting that FDNY Ladder Company 116 which serves Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and Dutch Kills is in danger of being closed. According to the Queens Gazette:
Elected officials, community leaders and area residents will gather in front of Ladder Company 116 in Dutch Kills at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 7, to send FDNY officials a message

“Enough is enough,” Gerald Walsh president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association (DKCA), said. DKCA is hosting the rally to keep Ladder Company 116 open, despite word that fire officials are planning to extinguish services provided by firefighters at the century-old firehouse....
and: ...
“Take away the fact that this will leave residents, schools and businesses in Dutch Kills without an open firehouse. It’s a fact that Ladder Company 116 can get to an emergency at Roosevelt Island in warpspeed time. Can other fire companies match the response time of Ladder Company 116 to Roosevelt Island? We don’t believe they can,” Stamatiades said. “So there’s another community that will be jeopardized by the closing of Ladder 116.”

An FDNY spokesperson told the Gazette that a final decision is pending on which companies will close.

“We are waiting for written word on who will close before we can comment. Right now there are a lot of communities getting riled up before the final decision has been made.”
If this is true and Ladder Company 116 closes, it will be a big problem for Roosevelt Island. I will be seeking reactions from RIOC, RIRA and Roosevelt Island elected officials and reporting back.

More on Roosevelt Island's recent experience with FDNY here.

UPDATE 3:10 - I received the following comments regarding possibility of FDNY Ladder Company 116 being closed.

From Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Steve Shane:
I read the budget war drums as you do. Entirely a political determination in the NYC sphere.
From Jason Post, a spokesperson for the Mayor's Office:
The FDNY has not announced which fire companies would be closed under the budget proposal.
From New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin:
So far, we don’t know for sure which firehouses are being considered for closure. We do know that Ladder Company 116 should be off the table. Given Roosevelt Island’s unique location and the role that Ladder Company 116 plays for the Island, it’s clear that closing this firehouse would be a mistake. I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening. The Administration is required by the City Charter to inform the Council of firehouse closings 45 days before the closing is set to happen. Assuming that closings will correspond to the start of the fiscal year on July 1, that means that we should be hearing on this by May 17. I’ll make sure to keep you and the Roosevelt Island community posted.
And from Assembly Member Micah Kellner:
While it is not yet clear whether Ladder Company 116 will be on list of firehouses slated for elimination, there is no question that closing it would be devastating for Roosevelt Island. No other fire company is so well-positioned to respond to emergencies on the Island. I will do everything in my power to ensure that Ladder 116 is preserved -- we cannot afford to gamble with the lives of Roosevelt Islanders.

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