New York Firefighters Urge Purchase of Ladder Truck

Lancaster firefighters want city to replace their 1978 ladder truck
KAREN ROBINSON, The Buffalo News Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lancaster firefighters want a new $1.2 million ladder truck they say is needed to replace a 1978 model.

Many are anxious, because they say they've been asking to replace it for years.

But timing and cost remain big issues. Village officials, some of them firefighters, are weighing all of it. Trustees said they are not saying "no" but they also haven't indicated when they'll make a decision.

"We have to make it fiscally responsible and palatable to the residents," said Trustee William C. Schroeder, a firefighter and former village fire chief.

For starters, the ladder truck, which would involve the village bonding money to pay for it, is expensive. Government leaders also worry because the village's current debt totals between $3 million and $4 million at a time when the village also was forced to spend about half of its $1.6 million in reserves to pay for $760,000 in November snowstorm expenses.

The dynamic is triggering friction. Many point out that surrounding communities have ladder trucks that help on mutual aid calls.

The tallest structure for which the ladder truck would be needed is the 10-story senior tower on West Pleasant Avenue.

As it considers the purchase of a new fire truck, the Village Board also said it is working on developing a five-year capital project plan to prioritize equipment and building needs.

"The Fire Department is not being neglected," Schroeder said. "We will replace that truck. It's a matter of when. But we're talking a hell of a lot of money, and we have existing debt."

Schroeder said the village has never shortchanged the Fire Department. He noted the village spent $150,000 in 2000 to refurbish the ladder truck. Since then, the village has bought eight vehicles for the Fire Department, including pumpers and chief and assistant chief vehicles, he said. Moreover, an estimated $470,000 in still owed on the last pumper that was bought four years ago.

Fire Chief Joseph M. Ligammare has been urging the Village Board to buy a new ladder truck as quickly as possible to lock in 2014 pricing. Doing so could save $60,000, he said.

Ligammare noted the Fire Department could pick up the interest payments for a few years on the ladder truck, while also considering that perhaps other village capital equipment purchases could be lumped in with fire apparatus purchases over the next few years. "My goal was to try to bring other alternatives to the table to try to soften the blow to taxpayers."

He offered to have the Fire Department's budget pay the $11,000 in interest owed in 2016 on a new truck for the first few years and to forgo his $5,200 yearly stipend until the village would begin handling the debt in 2017.

A supermajority board vote is required; four trustees on the five-member Village Board must vote in favor of it.

The Fire Department was told under former Mayor William Cansdale's administration that 2017 would be a better time to make such a purchase. Fire officials have continued to lobby Mayor Paul M. Maute, who also is a firefighter.

"We will make the best decision for the safety of the community and also for the taxpayers," Maute said. "There is a need for a hook and ladder truck. Is there an urgency? I would say yes, but not today. It's not going to break down today."

email: krobinson@buffnews.com

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Brooklyn Man Dies after Falling During Fire

Victim falls from fire escape during five-alarm fire
NATASHA VELEZ and ANTONIO ANTENUCCI, The New York Post Published Friday, January 23, 2015

A Brooklyn business owner fell to his death trying to flee a devastating fire Wednesday morning, FDNY officials said.

Seven others were injured in the 3:30 a.m. Prospect Heights blaze, which broke out in the building's ground-floor hardware store at 265 Flatbush Ave., officials said.

Deli owner Bassam Awad, 46, escaped his fourth-floor apartment - but fell from his fire escape as 250 firefighters battled the five-alarmer for two hours.

"You literally heard women screaming, 'Help, it's burning,' " said neighbor Veronica Hossain, who called the chaotic scene "heartbreaking."

"He was a great man, what can I say? He was a great man, I love him very much," his 36-year-old brother, Abdurahman, said, before breaking down in tears.

Awad's mother was among three people critically injured in the blaze.

His wife, Ralima, and two sons also suffered burns and were rushed to area hospitals.

The fire was sparked by faulty electrical wiring on a neon light outside the hardware store, FDNY officials said.

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  • Helmet Cam: Dramatic Rescue of Trapped Occupant in New York Fire One Dead, Several Injured in Brooklyn Five-Alarm Apartment Fire

    FireEMS Blogs: Brooklyn Fireground Action

    Photos and video from two recent fires in Brooklyn
    Squad Company 252 at second-alarm Box 3921 on January 11, 2015. (Lloyd Mitchell photo)

    By FireRescue staff
    Published Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    From the blog BackstepFirefighter comes photos and videos from two fires in Brooklyn this month. Fire photographer Lloyd Mitchell shares his talent with images from the scene of a second alarm fire on Eastern Parkway on January 11, 2015. Videos from top floor fire on January 17th are also included.

     

    Read more of “Photos, Videos: Buffing in Brooklyn”

     

     

     

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    Video: FDNY Responds to Underground Blaze near Penn Station

    Fire in below-grade construction site breaks out near Manhattan station
    Fire trucks are staged near New York's Penn Station, early Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. Commuters experienced some delays following an early morning fire in an underground construction site at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue that disrupted train service. The Empire State Building stands in the background. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
    Published Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Commuters could face some delays following an early morning fire near Penn Station.

    Trains on the A, E and C subway lines, which had been bypassing 34th Street, resumed service through the area at 5:38 a.m. with residual delays.

    LIRR service isn't affected. However, a transit spokesman says three tracks weren't operational after power was shut down during the fire. Commuters could face some delays if it's not restored in time.

    He says there was no damage to platform and track areas.

    The fire broke out at 2:22 a.m. in an underground construction site at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue. It was under control at 5:22 a.m.

    Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

    Eighth Avenue between 31st and 34th streets has reopened.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Raw Video: Flames Shoot from Penn Station

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    Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    FDNY Calls Penn Station Blaze ‘Suspicious’ Three Dead in New York Apartment Fire

    Videos: Three Dead in Queens Apartment Fire

    Unattended cooking leads to fatal fire on ninth floor of apartment building
    YouTube video shot from a nearby building shows fire venting from the ninth floor of an 18-story apartment building in Queens, New York on January 1, 2015. Unattended cooking caused the blaze that killed a couple and a relative. Scroll down to see more raw video.
    Published Friday, January 2, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — A traditional Haitian holiday soup left unattended on a stove likely sparked a deadly fire that killed a couple and their relative, fire officials said Thursday.

    Louise Jean-Charles, 59, her husband, Napoleon Michel, 69, and 37-year-old Nadia Donnay were unconscious inside the apartment when firefighters arrived minutes before midnight. They were pronounced dead at hospitals.

    Jean-Charles' son, Sergeory Jean-Charles, 36, told the Daily News of New York (http://nydn.us/1Bawjz4 ) that the dish was called Soup Joumou, a spicy pumpkin soup they make every year. It's served on Jan. 1 — the anniversary of Haiti's liberation from France.

    "It's a New Year's tradition," the distraught son told the newspaper.

    The fire broke out at 11:45 p.m. on the ninth floor of the 18-story, 220-apartment building. The blaze spread from the stove to the living room and back bedrooms, where two of the victims were discovered. Fire authorities said 105 firefighters from 25 units responded to the scene. Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals.

    Fire Department of New York Chief of Department James Leonard said there were apparently no smoke detectors at the apartment in the LeFrak City complex in Queens.

    "It's a terrible family tragedy," he said, according to the newspaper. "These people were preparing to have a family celebration today."

    The official cause of the blaze remained under investigation. A statement from LeFrak City said the building had no fire violations and the apartment had smoke detectors.

    "A smoke detector rider attesting to the presence of this life safety equipment was signed and initialed by the tenant in 2012," the statement said, according to the Daily News.

    Neighbor Linda Peralta, 27, said the tragic fire could have been worse.

    "Thank God it did happen on New Year's Eve," she told the newspaper. "If it was just a regular Wednesday, then everybody would have been asleep, and the fire could have spread to the apartments next door."

    ___

    Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com

    Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

     

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