Hoboken Fire Officer Local 1076, 1078

first_imgDear Editor:This letter is being written to inform you about our city being put at risk due to insufficient man power and the browning out of fire companies. It has been the practice of a current administration to simply close fire companies when manpower reaches a certain number rather than call additional personnel to maintain the integrity of six fire companies.Over the last nine years, the city has reduced the Hoboken fire department’s manpower from a high of 132 members and 7 fire companies in 2008, to the current total of 113 and 6 fire companies ( 5 companies when the decision is made to “brown out” a company). Over the same period of time, the population in Hoboken went from 38,000+ people to approximately 56,000 people now.Along with the population increase, there has been an increase in the number of newly constructed building throughout town, and in areas that never had residential buildings in the past. Rather than maintain a fire department with sufficient manpower and resources, the city’s answer was to reduce the total manpower and occasionally drop to five fire companies. There are times when there are only 18 fire department personnel on duty to protect 56,000 people. That is preposterous. It puts the citizens at risk and puts the fire department personnel at increased risk.To illustrate, on July 12 the Hoboken fire department browned out an engine company and only had fivecompanies covering the city. During the day, there was a fire in Jersey City and the department sent a truck and engine to Jersey City on mutual aid for five hours. The city was left with THREE fire companies protecting the entire city until the Battalion Chief was able to get a sufficient amount of personnel to come in and open up companies to backfill while the other two companies were at mutual aid, once again, we have 56,000 people in the city of Hoboken.Both the firefighters union and the fire officer union along with the chief of the department ask the city to apply for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant. The purpose of a SAFER grant is to enhance the local fire departments abilities to comply the staffing, response and operational standards established by NFPA 1710 ( National Fire Protection Association) which establishes the minimum personnel per apparatus. (The city has not been compliant since 2009).The union asked the city to apply for 24 firefighters, the chief recommended and ask for 16, and the city only authorized 4 ( as of yet the administration hasn’t accepted it ). Although appreciated, that is not nearly enough for what the department needs we hope that the city administration will finally start increasing the department’s manpower so you the citizens, will have the properly sized fire department to best serve you in the safest and most efficient way. Until that day, please be aware that the members of Hoboken fire department will continue to serve you the citizens as best we can. Sincerely,Michael StefanoHoboken Fire Officer- Local 1076Thomas AligoHoboken Firefighter- Local 1078last_img

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