STATEMENT ON EXPIRATION OF ROSTER STAFFING AGREEMENT
Beginning tomorrow, February 1, the FDNY will reduce staffing by one firefighter on 60 of its engine companies so that all 194 engines in the city will be staffed with four firefighters and one officer. No firefighters will be laid off as a result of this change, which will provide savings of approximately $30 million in overtime that is currently needed to staff the fifth firefighter position. The change comes as the FDNY’s 15-year agreement with the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) expires at midnight tonight.
“We just recorded the fewest fire deaths on record and our response time to fires is the fastest ever,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said. “Our number one commitment to this city has always been and continues to be the safety of New Yorkers.”
The Department proposed the staffing reduction in last year’s budget and the city gave notice to the UFA months ago that it would not be continuing the agreement, known as “Roster Staffing,” that provided for the “fifth” firefighter on 60 engines.
The FDNY has existing operational protocols to address reduced staffing on engine and ladder companies, including when firefighters go on medical leave during a tour. The city’s 143 ladder companies will continue to be staffed with five firefighters and an officer at the start of the tour. Also, Department protocol calls for two engine companies - not one - to stretch and operate a hose line at a fire.
The city has in the last seven years reduced the 60 engine staffing level four times due to high rates of firefighter medical leave, a change provided for in the original 1996 Roster Staffing agreement.
No other fire department in the country operates with five firefighters on an engine.
Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY)