2002-05-04 / Letters

Firefighters Offer Ideas

Firefighters Offer Ideas

Dear Editor;

The demonstration that was held at Ladder 121 of the FDNY on Saturday April 13, 2002, was nice, and it showed that the community is backing our brother firefighters. But what gets some of the community upset is the way this proposed move was done, without the community having any public say. Why is it that our so-called community board sees fit to do anything they wish, without first going to the public? And letting us know what is going on.

If you look at the area, you will see that the proposed new firehouse to be located at Beach 48th Street will cause unwanted delays for the FDNY units to respond to calls. If you check the area around and near the present firehouse, then you will find that if you go east along Rockaway Beach Road (Edgemere Road) is a baseball and basketball field, which The Parks Department of the City of New York put in about 3 years ago, at a cost of much money. You will find that it is never used at all. If a new firehouse must be built, this is the ideal place for it.

We call out to our local elected officials, to bring forth the following: 1) a town hall meeting with the city officials to attend such as the Fire Commissioner, the Mayor, and any other official who might be involved with this problem; 2) we call for an investigation into the waste of the public's money to build this baseball field which no one uses.

We also take Mayor Bloomberg to task, where he wishes to close 10 firehouses. What does he have against the Fire Department? Why is he seeking to put community lives in great danger by doing this? Let him cut into other departments, such as sanitation, and others. Leave the police and fire departments alone. The police and firefighters are out there 24 hours per day giving of themselves to fight and protect the communities in the city.

Has the Mayor or the top civilian staff of the fire department ever been in a fire, and know what the firefighters have to go through. I think not. It is bad enough that we lost 343 brothers at Ground Zero; we find that the Mayor has no concept of what is going on (and never will). I will say this much, our community board is a do nothing board, they never will be a board that will make the Rockaways a better place to live.

We ask that The Wave back the concept of a town hall meeting, and get it done as fast as possible. If they move the old firehouse, they are going to hurt lots of people here in the Rockaways since the members of the firehouse are city workers. They are unable to say anything about what is going on, but we as an independent organization can and will continue to do so. In an effort to make the city officials understand that by making this move they are hurting all of us.

I would like to ask, has the Mayor and his department heads ever been out to our area to see the problems we have here in person? I do not think that they ever will take the time to come out here. If the Mayor is so upset about using a knife to cut services, let him cut services in other departments or have his high paying department heads take a cut in pay.

The Commissioners get too much salary as it is, and there is too much double standard in City Departments. Why doesn't he integrate some city agencies to save money? It is very easy to do this, but to go and hurt agencies that are out there trying to protect communities – it just stinks.

We hope that the community and all other organizations will come out and back our brother and sister firefighters and police. We ask them to send letters to our city officials and to the Mayor taking them to task about this problem. We ask the community to write letters to the Borough President asking them to remove the heads of the community board since they choose to hurt the community with the action they are seeking to take.

We ask this newspaper to back a town hall meeting on this subject. We call for an investigation into the empty baseball field, which would make an ideal place for the proposed new firehouse (if they have to move). We call out to all our local elected officials (and newly elected officials) to put pressure on City Hall to back down from closing ten firehouses and from moving this firehouse.

We are the International Association of Volunteer Firefighters, and its Emergency Disaster Special Services here in Rockaway. We work with both the NYPD and FDNY in all disasters – be they man-made or natural, and we get out there 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. By going in harm's way, just like the paid brother and sisters do, so we can relate to the problems they have, and for this reason we are backing them 100%.

We hope that something good will come of this letter. We ask the community to get out there with more demonstrations against what the community board and the city are going to do. We hope that this city will come to its senses and leave things alone.

Chief J. R. Goldstein

& the Board of Chiefs of Intl. Assn of Volunteer Firefighters

Emergency Disaster Special Services


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