Wednesday, 13 July 2011 00:00
[pullquote]“This is a victory not only for the families of Bayside, but for all New Yorkers who call out for a responsive government that provides the services we pay for.” ~ Dan Halloran[/pullquote]Council Member Daniel J. Halloran (R-Whitestone) welcomed the City Council Speaker, Christine C. Quinn (D-Manhattan), and numerous other elected officials and community leaders to Bayside today to celebrate the preservation of FDNY Engine 306.
Early budget proposals from the Mayor indicated that Engine 306, on 214th Place in Bayside one block east of Bell Boulevard, was among the 20 FDNY engines scheduled to be closed on July 1, the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012. Thanks to the hard work of Quinn, Halloran, and the other Council Members, each fire engine will be preserved.
Had the Engine closed, the surrounding community would have the second-longest FDNY response times in the borough, according to a study done by the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. The closest engine to Engine 306 is Engine 320 on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Auburndale, 1.6 miles away.
Council Member Halloran said:
“With this budget, our City has saved all essential services and kept the families of Northeast Queens safe. When firehouses close, we put lives in danger. Preserving Engine 306 protects a huge neighborhood and one of the busiest commercial strips in Queens. And it sends a message to Queens residents that their safety and security is our highest priority.
“We did not do this alone. I thank the many concerned residents of my district who stood up and demanded their voices be heard. This is a victory not only for the families of Bayside, but for all New Yorkers who call out for a responsive government that provides the services we pay for.”
Speaker Quinn said:
“Keeping Engine 306 and the 19 other NYC firehouses open was a fight that we were not willing to lose,” said Speaker Quinn. “Time and time again, we have asked the courageous men and women in New York’s Bravest to risk their lives to keep us safe, and I’m proud the City Council was able to stand up and deliver in fighting these cuts. I want to thank Council Member Halloran and my colleagues for working so hard in making sure that our constituents can still depend on our Bravest to keep them safe.”
Numerous other elected officials and community leaders were also in attendance, including: Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), Chair of the Council’s Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice; Council Member Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans); Council Member Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens); Assembly Member Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside); Assembly Member Grace Meng (D-Flushing); Community Board 11 chairman Jerry Iannecce; Community Board 7 chairman Eugene Kelty; Gregg Sullivan, president of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District; Uniformed Fire Officers Association president Alexander Hagan; and Uniformed Firefighters Association vice president James Slevin.