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FDNY to reduce crew sizes to curb sick leave

A fifth firefighter will no longer be assigned in an effort to decrease growing medical leave


By FireRescue1 Staff

NEW YORK — The FDNY announced that they will reduce the crew size on engine companies in an effort to decrease growing medical leave.

NY Daily News reported that the department will no longer assign a fifth firefighter to 10 engine companies that had an extra firefighter.

The Uniformed Firefighters’ Association said that if sick leave decreases next month, the fifth firefighter will return.

“The Fire Department has informed the UFA this morning that the absence rate for the last 365 days has topped 7.5 percent, and as of Dec. 1, it's at 7.53 percent,”the UFA said.

Previously, union president Steve Cassidy made a deal with the FDNY to keep the fifth firefighter as long as the absentee rate stayed below 7.5 percent.

“The city put a price on adding additional manning, and in order to provide a fifth firefighter to engine companies, the 7.5 percent absentee rate was agreed to,” the UFA said. "While we understand that the contract the UFA signed with the city indicates the loss of the fifth man would occur in the event this threshold was crossed, as we enter cold weather and holiday season, the fifth man on engines becomes even more critical and I hope that the FDNY remains flexible to reinstating this individual when conditions demand so.”

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