FDNY considers cutting fifth firefighter to reduce costs

The department may stop assigning a fifth firefighter to 15 companies in an effort to cover increasing medical leave costs

By FireRescue1 Staff

NEW YORK — The FDNY may cut the fifth firefighter assigned to the department’s busiest companies, according to officials.

NY Post reported that the department is considering the decrease in staff for 15 companies, which could begin as early as next week, as a way to recover costs of rising medical leave.

The department’s contract with the Uniformed Firefighters’ Association says it can cut the fifth firefighter if the absence rate exceeds 7.5 percent over a one-year period. The current rate is 7.5053 percent.

“This .0053 percent is not worth jeopardizing the safety of thousands of firefighters,” City Councilman Joe Borelli said. “It’s putting people in danger for B.S.”

It was initially confirmed by the FDNY that the engine companies with a fifth firefighter would be down by one as of Friday, but spokesman Francis Gribbon said hours later that the department “is going to give it a few more days and see how the medical leave is trending.”

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