The Hoboken Fire Department is committed to serving the residents of this town with superior service, great pride and dedication. We have highly trained personnel which is on duty each and every shift. However, recently our counterparts in the North Hudson Regional Fire Department have been experiencing a rash of fires on a consistent basis. During this difficult time, the NHRFD, while fighting these fires, are also dealing with reduced manpower, fire houses which have been closed and reduced operations in terms of apparatus.
At this point, the Hoboken resident is probably asking what does this have to do with me? Well, every time there is a fire in one of those neighboring towns, NHRFD, while capable of performing at a high level, has requested mutual aid from Hoboken as it just doesn’t have the manpower to fight such large fires. Each and every time they request assistance in terms of manpower and apparatus the Hoboken Fire Department sends the resources necessary in order to assist our brothers and sisters to fight whatever fire they are facing. In doing such, we are leaving the taxpayers of our town with reduced services in terms of fire protection during those times.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has put forth a comprehensive report detailing the effects of fighting a fire with reduced manpower and apparatus. The report gathered more than 60 laboratory and residential fire ground experiments designed to quantify the effects of various fire department deployment configurations on the most common type of fire which is a residential structure fire. Essentially a four person crew completed all the fire ground tasks (on average) seven times faster, nearly 30% more than a two person crew. The four person crew also completed the tasks (on average) 5.1 minutes faster, nearly 25% more than the three person crew.
Majority of the time, Hoboken operates on a three person crew for most of its apparatus we also face a manpower situation. When our brothers and sisters come calling for help we send our men and women, thus leaving this city and its taxpayers vulnerable to inadequate fire protection. I urge the taxpayers of this town to voice their concerns to the Mayor and the Council in regard to this situation. The residents of Hoboken pay taxes to ensure and rely on proper fire protection.
It is evident that the closure of two fire houses, the reduced operations and the reduction in manpower in the North Hudson Regional Fire Department has grossly affected their efforts in providing adequate fire protection. In fact, the entire area west of Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen has no fire coverage. That is not safe for those residents nor is it safe for ours as we have been sending mutual aid on a consistent basis.
The residents of this town work hard and demand superior service from their fire department. We are committed to providing such service, however, each and every time mutual aid is requested your tax dollars are being spent in neighboring towns to fight fires and leaving you vulnerable.
Local 1078 President
Local 1078 Representative