Public advocate candidate Cathy Guerriero highlighted a 2.4 percent population increase in Brooklyn since 2010, and called for the reinstatement of firehouses like Engine 212 and Engine 209 that were shut down along with six others citywide back in 2003.
“This is a dangerous situation that even the budget bean counters should realize is going in the wrong direction in terms of public safety,” Guerriero said, standing in front of former Engine 212 on Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg.
According to Guerriero, NYC ranks last in firehouses per capita, and is near the bottom of all population-based rankings. She also added there has been a 15 percent increase in response times since 2010, with 68,000 more calls in 2012 than in 2002.
“Engine 212 should be reopened as soon as possible; Ladder 104 should continue to stay open, and staffing for these firehouses and others throughout NYC should go back to five per company,” she said, explaining that there was a decrease in required staff sizes back in 2011 from five to four firefighters.
Although there has been a looming threat to cuts in firehouses throughout the city, the recent budget passed by the City Council does not include the closure of any firehouses.
Although it looks as though firehouses have been saved this year, North Brooklyn Councilman Stephen Levin said there should be additional concern moving forward with the rise in population.
“It is important that services increase as the population of Williamsburg increases,” he said.