Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rally To Protest Possible Closing of FDNY Ladder Company 116 Serving Roosevelt Island & LIC- Kellner Calls Possible Closing A Tragic Mistake

An update to last week's post on the possible closing of FDNY Ladder Company 116 which serves Roosevelt Island, Long Island City/Dutch Kills. A rally was held last Friday to protest the possible closing of the Queens Firehouse and Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Micah Kellner was one of the speakers. Mr. Kellner writes:
This week, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a City budget proposal that would entail, among other cuts, the loss of 400 firefighters citywide. At a time when we have been reminded that New York City remains a prime target for terror, we can’t afford to lose essential protective services.

Today, I rallied with firefighters, union members, and other elected officials outside Ladder Company 116 in Dutch Kills, Queens, calling on the Mayor to find another way to save money besides closing firehouses. Ladder 116 is the closest firehouse to Roosevelt Island, and Island residents rely on the company for a quick response in emergencies. Eliminating Ladder 116 would be a mistake with potentially tragic consequences for Roosevelt Island — while we don’t know yet whether it’s on the list of proposed firehouse closures, I will do everything I can to ensure that it stays in the business of protecting Roosevelt Islanders and their neighbors in Western Queens.

The Queens Gazette reported on the protest rally:
... The firehouse is only a block away from the Queensboro Bridge, which is essential to the safety of those on Roosevelt Island. Manhattan Assemblymember Micah Kellner informed those attending the event that there is no fire company on the island, and Ladder 116 is the only firehouse within a reasonable distance in case of emergency. “I find it incredibly disrespectful [that] the mayor will play games with our bravest,” Kellner said....
... In the event of a closure, the FDNY is required to give councilmembers a 45-day notification prior to the closing. The final day such a disclosure can be made is May 17. Until then, those who attended the rally will be working to change Bloomberg’s mind about the cuts...
I give Assembly Member Kellner great credit for his constituent services. Although I may disagree with him on some issues (notably the FDR Memorial) he personally shows up when needed by Roosevelt Island and is often on Roosevelt Island talking to residents about their concerns.