Far Rock's Engine 328 Escapes Budget Axe
Budget cuts by the Fire Department of New York will not hit Far Rockaway's Big House firehouse. Last week the fire commissioner released a list of companies that would close during evening hours and Engine 328 was not on it.
As The Wave reported in our November 21 issue, the members of Engine 328 were previously notified by the city that, due to budget cuts, there was a possibility that the fire company could be shutting down during the 15-hour night shift, which runs from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Many local civic leaders, politicians and the members of Engine 328 warned that cutting the company's operation would have presented risks to the community.
Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer was among those who voiced their concerns about the possible closing to city officials. She sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and spoke with FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and others about Engine 328's future.
"I'm glad they listened and realized that to close our engine at night would be detrimental to our community, and I want to thank them for their judgment," Pheffer said.
The Big House, located on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway, is home to Engines 328 and 364 and Ladder 134.
In ending evening shifts at firefighting units in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx, as well as permanently closing a firehouse on Governor's Island, Scoppetta said, "Our goal, first and foremost, is to minimize any impact these reductions could have on our ability to continue protecting and serving all New Yorkers."
The Wave attempted, without success, to reach the Battalion 47 commander for Rockaway's fire companies to obtain comment for this article.