"My mother is in her 90s. A couple times I had to call this firehouse, she had an attack, or also there were a couple times when she fell and she was on the floor and I couldn't pick her up," McCoy said. "They were there in a heartbeat, I couldn't imagine if they hadn't been there."
McCoy was one of more than a dozen neighborhood residents who joined nearly 100 fire union members and their families Monday at the firehouse on
"I implore all of you ... get the word out to reject
Emergency Management Director
According to Fontana, the administration has proposed no longer using one of the vehicles at the Ellsworth station, Squad 2, and putting one of two new paramedic units there in order to better answer medical calls with personnel who have more advanced training. The other paramedic unit would go to the
Currently there is one engine truck at each of the 10 New Haven fire stations. The plan is intended to reduce the number of routine calls during which engines crews are dispatched to administer basic life-saving skills before a paramedic arrives. But the engines would continue to respond when the paramedic units were tied up and for more serious calls, such as heart problems and shootings, Fontana said during an editorial board meeting at the
He said the plan came from an analysis by the city controller, chief administrative officer, the emergency medical services supervisor and himself, as well as former fire chiefs
The union has disputed the plan since Fontana presented it to them in July, saying it will increase insurance rates, delay response times, and place people at risk.
"When it comes to medical emergencies, when it comes to fires, early intervention is the key to positive outcomes. It's OK if we want to put on an additional paramedic unit to supplement our neighborhood fire engines, but our neighborhood fire engines are critical," Ricci said.
Acting Fire Chief
Union Vice President
"This is my neighborhood. My family has been in this neighborhood for over 100 years. I was born and raised in this neighborhood. My family still lives here, my daughter, my brother, my aunts, my cousin," Vendetto said. "I'm very proud to see everyone out here to support Engine 9."
Dozens of firefighters and their families attended the event wearing bright red T-shirts that said "Your fire engine is being shut down! Trapped in a fire, having a heart attack, your child is sick, you know your fire engine gets there first!" on the backs of the shirts.
"That's what's important for the firefighters to come out and say 'no,'" Ricci said.
Several community members, including a local rabbi and former member of the
"That's why there's so many people out here today. Fire safety services are part of what keeps us safe. We need fire engines," Applegate said. "We pay taxes from our won wages to this city, fire services are an investment to the safety of the community and we need to ensure these investments,"
"I always used to look at firemen as sort of interesting chaps but some three decades ago, I and my wife and five children were trapped in a building, not in this city, smoke-filled, a fire raging around us, and as we crept along, firemen came and grabbed our children and saved us," Greer said. "Every time I see a fireman, I thank the Almighty, and I thank the firemen."
He said firefighters are an integral part of the neighborhood and Engine 9 needs to remain as it is.
"We have rebuilt this neighborhood in the last 25 years and this firehouse, Engine 9, was our protector under the Almighty's guidance and providence," Greer said. "This neighborhood has lifted itself up by its bootstraps. We want Engine 9 to remain here, we live here."
"We've had this fight before, many years ago when they wanted to close the firehouse, and we won and with all of your support we will hope that we win again," McCormack said.
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