Engine 328 Safe This Year
A rally for Engine 328 in front of the Far Rockaway “Big House” involving community politicians, union leaders and firefighters was cancelled this week when it was announced that an agreement between the mayor and City Council saved the engine company and 19 others from closing as a result of budget cuts.
This marks the fourth time since 2008 that the city has attempted to shutter the engine company located at 16-15 Central Avenue, which is also home to Ladder 134 and Engine 234.
The budget measure would have saved the city $55 million over the next fiscal year.
“When we’re cutting money for fire houses but refusing to raise taxes one cent on millionaires, our priorities are off,” Councilmember James Sanders Jr. said this week. “I’m thankful that these funds were restored, but we need to continue to work and fight to ensure that Engine 328 does not find itself right back on the cutting board this time next year.”
Engine Company 328 is the major fire engine company serving the eastern end of the Rockaway peninsula. Had it been shuttered, fire companies from other areas would have had the additional pressure of having to respond to calls from within the community now served by 328, while keeping pace with emergencies in their districts, lengthening response times and putting countless lives in danger.