Members of the FDNY are the latest group pushing back against Mayor Eric Adams’ citywide budget cuts.
The city says it plans to reduce staffing at 20 engine companies by removing the fifth firefighter on each shift.
The fire department defended the move, calling it routine, while the Uniformed Firefighters Association said the decision will endanger New Yorkers at a time of year when house fires occur more frequently.
“Due to budget cuts, Mayor Adams and the FDNY have removed the fifth firefighter from 20 engine companies. The reduction of staffing will make it difficult to fight fires in those affected neighborhoods,” a statement from the union reads. “Home fires increase during the winter months as temperatures drop. The cut of firefighters in these neighborhoods will put local residents at risk.”
The move by the city impacts two of the busiest engine companies in the entire country: Engine 54 and Engine 65, both of which are in Midtown.
In a statement provided to NY1, the FDNY said the fifth man position is “a contractually agreed upon number that is dependent 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,” the department said.
The FDNY also said that the fifth firefighter on each of the affected shifts will be moved elsewhere to fill in gaps in manpower.
FDNY firefighters and union leadership are expected to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. on Monday to protest the cuts.