There are and will be fewer New York City Firefighters on the job due to city budget cuts, according to their union. The Uniformed Firefighters Association sent a message out on social media Saturday morning that the FDNY has removed the “fifth firefighter” position from 20 engine companies. The union says the reduction in staffing will make it more difficult to fight fires. This change means they will ride with a Fire Officer plus 4 Firefighters vs.a Fire Officer with 5 Firefighters.
The FDNY released a statement saying:
“The fifth firefighter position is a contractually agreed upon number that is depends [sic] on medical leave levels. There are only 20 companies throughout the city that have such a position and it is routinely added and removed to address staffing needs based on medical leave.”
In November, Mayor Eric Adams announced 5% cuts for every city agency in an effort to deal with the $7 billion gap caused in part by the asylum seeker crisis and the reduction in federal pandemic aid.
This is not the first time these reductions have occurred. These budget cuts (and related changes) are due to the increasingly costly migrant crisis, according to a memo sent by the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget to all agency leaders.