Save Engine 205 Rally Featuring FDNY, Local Pols and Steve Buscemi

Blaming a still-sluggish economy, Mayor Bloomberg has now set his cost-cutting sights on the FDNY. Last week he published a list of 20 “endangered” firehouses, eight of which are in Brooklyn, including our own Engine 205; Engine 205 was the first engine company from Brooklyn that reached Ground Zero on 9/11, and sadly lost eight of its men.

Though Engine 205 is in danger of closing, Ladder 118 will remain at the Middagh St. location. If you’re not sure what that means, read the comments section here for an explanation courtesy of our own weegee.

Video of the rally after the jump.

Population explosion—especially in DUMBO— and the danger a lack of manpower would pose to both residents and firefighters were just a couple of concerns cited by those who spoke, including State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, City Councilman Steve Levin, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and Borough President Marty Markowitz.

In the video you’ll hear Edward Bowles and John Kelly of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, Jane McGroarty of the Brooklyn Heights Association, and Steve Buscemi, former firefighter from Engine 55.

Though there were concerns that a 1 p.m. start would mean poor attendance, residents of all ages—including young protesters from P.S. 8, who showed up with posters and chutzpah—joined firefighters from across the city who rallied for the cause. At the end of the clip, a self-described “camera-shy” Buscemi told me he was going to a rally for Engine 220 this evening in Park Slope.

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  • Knight

    Several speakers mentioned “the taxpayers.” Although we each get only one vote, City Hall needs to realize that we in the Heights have an average income that is considerably higher than the median and therefore pay much higher income taxes. We also pay considerably higher property taxes based on the higher values of our Heights properties. If Brooklyn Heights gets a reputation as a fire risk, people will leave for the luxury houses being built in Jersey City as we speak and our property values will go down, too, as a result. The economics of those two tax ramifications should make City Hall realize that it is not in its financial interest to close E205.

  • jim

    I am all for Civics lessons for our kids but it seems like they were participating in the protest with their teachers. I wonder if their parents signed off on this field trip and if the Principal knew and okayed this as it was during the school day (1 PM).

  • Jeffrey j Smith

    I was at the rally today. Everyone I spoke to said the rally was
    GREAT. The speakers were Exec.

    In a fire or other dangerious situation SECONDS COUNT. If you remote our fire protection…make NO mistake LIVES WILL BE LOST.

    There are several point that should be made here:

    1) The MONEY NY City and wonderful Albany extracts per capita
    every year from this one small very special area is VERY
    CONSIDERABLE. This is one of the strongest tax positive
    legal districts in the Nation.

    2) The fact that the “financial crisis” in the city is, well, not
    confirmed in reality. Every year the public is given access
    to the standard budget. But what is kept FAR away from the
    public is the more general overview of city finances. The
    Comprehensive Annual Financial Report… which shows BOTH
    the budget AND the Millions and Millions of city funds invested
    In key banks (usually at very low interest rates which the
    banks lend out at standard rates at HUGE profits)

    3) The value of the historic buildings in the Heights…and the
    value of the people the Heights contains, BOTH makes the
    safety of the Heights an important city priority.

    So,They dont have the money for Fire? For Police? For EMS?
    Fine, then lets examine the City CAFR’s. Has anyone reading
    this ever even heard prior to this of the CAFR’s? So, were now supposed to have all our families safety levels reduced so the financial community can go on enjoying the supply of low/almost no cost city money. Really?

    Let’s see the CAFR’s. And then we’ll see the real COMPLETE
    city financial picture…

  • BronxKid

    Glad to see such a crowd — especially those youngsters from P.S. 8.

  • Joe

    Wish they had clips of the kids speaking. See article in Brooklyn Eagle.

  • bklyn20

    FYI, PS 8 sent out an email about the rally earlier this week. Remember that we and PS 8 are surrounded by old wooden houses. AND remember that it’s difficult to evacuate hundreds of kids from the school if disaster strikes and PS 8 has a fire. (Yes, there are regular fire drills.) For that alone it is imperative to keep this firehouse open.