Firefighters Union President Warns of Dining Shed Dangers

Posted on: February 8th, 2022 at 5:08 am by

Photo: Eddie Panta

Ahead of a controversial City Council hearing later this morning, the President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York joined the chorus of opposition to the Open Restaurants street sheds, stating that “Lives Are in Danger.”

Media advisory from the mailbag:

The haphazard way the structures went up, with no attention to the Fire Department’s operations are endangering New Yorkers by causing delays in traffic which increases the response time, and in some places, the sheds have narrowed the street to the point where we cannot safely and effectively raise ladders from the apparatus to windows.

On certain streets that have been narrowed by the placement of sheds, our firefighters are unable to set up the stabilizers from the ladder trucks which are necessary to stabilize the rig so that the ladders can reach residents on upper floors. Also, these sheds at times force the members of Engine companies to stretch additional hose lines around them to enter the front of the building. If a street is narrowed by the placement of sheds to the point where the street is not much wider than a car it makes it difficult or impossible for us to set up a ladder or truck.

These sheds not only cause traffic restrictions but in many cases, they negatively affect fire operations.

Lives are in danger.

The Council’s Committee on Worker Protection and Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will host the remote public hearing today, starting at 10:00am, to discuss legislation to make permanent the Open Restaurants program (as well as updating sidewalk cafe zoning regulations).

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