One More Time, Do Not Close Engine 328
For the third time in the last ten years, the city’s fire department has announced that Engine 328, one of the units situated in Far Rockaway’s “Big House” on Central Avenue, is slated for closure because of budget considerations. That announcement was made on Wednesday of last week by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, and it once again points out the fact that the administration has lost the trust of the people that it serves. At the same time Bloomberg is spending billions on technology, trees, pedestrian malls and bike lanes, he is cutting back on the services that our residents need most – police, fire, education and parks. We understand that Engine 328 is one of two engines stationed at the Big House, and that the facility also houses a ladder apparatus. What Bloomberg and his underlings do not understand is that Rockaway is growing by leaps and bounds and that the number of schools, particularly Yeshivas, exponentially grows with the population. In addition, much of the housing stock in Far Rockaway, Bayswater and Edgemere is older, wood-frame construction. Fire response time becomes critical in a situation such as that, and cutting a fire engine from the mix makes living in Rockaway much more dangerous.