In a previous post, it was mentioned that the FDNY was cutting the staffing of 49 engine companies. 11 engine companies will be the only ones in the city who respond with a crew of five. They are Engine Companies 5, 42, 65, 69, 92, 158, 235, 248, 283, 298 and 324. Of those companies, 5, 42, 65, 158 and 235 are ‘single house’ companies, quartered alone. Two other engines are in a house with a truck and the remaining three are with chief officers.
There is something rather unique, other than the obvious, about working in a ‘single house’. The bonds of friendship and teamwork seem stronger; the reliance upon each other becomes greater knowing that the first few minutes at a job will be lonely ones, that there’s no truck company leading the way. Of course, as with human behavior, the opposite could be said as well. A friend in New York used to tell me stories of a Queens engine company that was an epitome of substandard performance. Despite turnover in firefighters and officers, there was something about this company that continually worked against them at nearly every fire. If it could be messed up, they were the ones who would do it.
The FDNY staffing situation will resolve itself as it has in years past. Upon review of the medical leave rate, the fifth man might return or it might take another lawsuit like what was filed by the union years ago to rectify the problem. Either way, the problem and solution are each tied to money.
Of course, being single can also make you vulnerable to that budget cleaver.
“Kicking the Little Guy” Backstep
“Excessive Sick Leave Axes FDNY 5th FF on Engines” Geezer
“Living Single” Housewatch
“Living Single, Part II” Housewatch
“What is the definition of the word ‘closed’?” Statter