Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Monday, December 7, 1998

Release #550-98

Contact: Colleen Roche/Curt Ritter (212) 788-2958
Mike Reagan 718-999-2056 (FDNY)


The 'Tin House' - Former Home of FDNY's Engine Company 232 - Reopens To Serve The Brownsville Community

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen today cut the ribbon officially opening Brooklyn's first new EMS Station, FDNY/EMS Battalion 44, at 266 Rockaway Avenue in Brownsville. Also on hand for the celebration was Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden.

"Today is a great day for the people of Brooklyn," said Mayor Giuliani. "As we celebrate the reopening of the Tin House, following its unceremonious closing ten years ago, we also pay tribute to the men and women who will provide emergency medical services to the residents of Brownsville.

"Each day emergency medical technicians risk their lives when they respond to New Yorkers' calls for help. And for this we are grateful. Since the Fire Department and EMS merged two years ago, EMS response times have fallen significantly and now, more than ever, EMS is using its resources very efficiently. I want to congratulate all of you on your new station house and thank you again for your service to the people of New York City," the Mayor concluded.

During halftime of Super Bowl XXII on January 31, 1988, Engine Company 232 -- also known as the Tin House -- received a call to cover for another Brooklyn engine company that had allegedly been called out to a fire. Later that evening, the firefighters returned and were met by a large contingent of FDNY Chiefs, fire marshals and police officers -- only to discover that their firehouse was being closed. It was subsequently discovered that the earlier alarm had been a ploy to get them out of the building so it could be closed.

Fire Commissioner Von Essen said, "This station is the seventh of what we hope will be additional community-based EMS stations throughout the City. This facility will not only act as a home base for the Fire Department medical personnel in this area, but will serve as a neighborhood symbol of dedication, pride and commitment to the men and women who work here, as well as to the members of the community."

Brooklyn Borough President Golden said, "I am pleased that after more than ten years, this building will return to service as a neighborhood ambulance station which will reduce response times for medical emergencies in Brownsville and the surrounding area. I am pleased that Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Von Essen also realize the true value of the 'Tin House' - not as a piece of property, but as a life-saving facility."

Due to the deteriorating conditions of the original prefabricated tin structure, the Tin House building was almost completely demolished during the $1,062,627 year-long renovation, by the City Department of Design and Construction, which left only steel girders and one wall standing. The new station is now home to six EMS units - four Basic Life Support and two Advanced Life Support units. The station will also contain training facilities for the 80 men and women assigned to the station.

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