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Press Releases / 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 1, 2005


Announcement comes after medical leave level drops below 7.5%

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced that effective tomorrow, the Department would be increasing the staffing levels on 49 of the City’s 197 engine companies - raising from 11 to 60 the number of engine companies staffed with five firefighters. The increase in staffing comes after the medical leave rate for the Department dropped during the past month.

“I am pleased to announce that the medical leave rate has declined and as a result, according to our contract with the UFA, we are increasing the number of firefighters on 49 of the City’s engine companies immediately, “ said Commissioner Scoppetta. “The increase in staffing will allow for fire companies in all five boroughs to operate with the help of an additional firefighter during the busiest time of the fire department’s year.”

The number of engine companies operating with five firefighters was decreased in December of 2004 from 60 to 11 when the 365-day average for medical leave was 7.54% of the uniformed force. A review of the medical leave rate is conducted at the beginning of each month, and today the annualized rate stands at 7.49%.

Under a 1996 agreement between the Uniformed Firefighters Association and the City, the Fire Department has the right to reduce the number of five firefighter engines to 11 if the annualized medical leave averaged more than 7.5%.

Commissioner Scoppetta said he remains hopeful and optimistic that the decline continues and manning levels are maintained. The next review will be done on March 1, and the medical leave rate must remain below 7.5% in order for the 49 engines to continue being staffed by five firefighters.

Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / Mike Loughran (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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