FDNY Restores Engine Staffing Levels

Firehouse.com News

Posted: Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:33
Updated: Tue, 01/05/2010 - 14:35

New York City's new fire commissioner has announced the department will restore staffing levels on 49 engine companies that were reduced during the month of December.

Last month staffing on the specified companies was reduced from five firefighters to four.

Commissioner Salvatore Cassano made the announcement on Jan. 2.

Both the staffing reduction and restoration are in accordance of the city's contract with the fire union.

Under the contract, of the city's 194 engine companies, 134 are staffed with four firefighters and 49 are staffed with five -- if medical leave rates stay below 7.5 percent.

After the city reduced staffing, the absenteeism rate for firefighters fell more than 16 percent, with an extra 100 firefighters per day on average reporting for work than during the prior 11 months, according to the department.

"I'm pleased that medical leave rates have declined and we're able to restore engine staffing levels," Cassano said. "Controlling overtime costs is crucial -- especially during these tough fiscal times -- and the Department will continue to take every measure necessary to ensure we are spending taxpayer dollars wisely and responsibly."

This is the third time in the past seven years that the city has decreased engine company staffing due to high firefighter
absentee rates.