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FDNY fuming over pol’s pump bill

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The Fire Department is hot and bothered about a bill being pushed by a Southern Brooklyn lawmaker that would shrink the “no parking” area around fire hydrants from 30 to 20 feet, saying its big rigs need all the space they can get.

Councilman David Greenfield (D-Midwood) co-sponsored legislation proposed by a Queens politician that would allow drivers to park five feet closer to a hydrant, claiming that fire trucks don’t need the mandated 15-feet of space on both sides of a johnny pump.

But New York’s Bravest are throwing water on Greenfield’s assertion.

“Our trucks are 30 feet long, so we need all that space to park and operate,” said Fire Department spokesman Frank Dwyer.

Before the Fire Department started ringing its alarm about the bill, Greenfield insisted that reducing the allotment would not pose any problems for firefighters.

“The 15-foot-rule is an antiquated law,” Greenfield said. “Fire trucks aren’t parallel parking in these spaces, they just pull up next to them.”

Greenfield has not responded to the our request for further comment, but one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Mike Nelson (D-Sheepshead Bay), said he would like to survey firehouses to see if their trucks really need at least 30 feet of space.

“A comprehensive study would have to done before the bill is passed,” said Nelson’s spokesman, Steve Zeltser.

Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by five Brooklyn lawmakers, including Greenfield and Nelson, in April.

Earlier this month, Greenfield followed up Dromm’s proposal with a bill mandating city workers paint red marks around every fireplug in the city so drivers know exactly how far they must park from them.

The Fire Department also bristled at Greenfield’s suggestion that whoever is responsible for inspecting the hydrants be responsible for painting the “no parking” zone.

“Do you think fire fighters have enough time to paint curbs?” Dwyer said. “It just isn’t practical for us to go out and paint after we inspect and test out the hydrants.”

Updated 1:00 am, December 22, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

sid from boerum hill says:
what happens if there is a fire when you are illegally parked...they just break the car windows and pass the hoses through the car and I have no problem with that....
Dec. 22, 2010, 1:04 am
Mike from GP says:
Sid, it's not about just the hoses, but all the other equipment. All of it needs clearance.

Greenfield is just pandering to self-entitled and lazy motorists, at the expense of our safety. Sadly, this is pretty common.
Dec. 22, 2010, 7:49 am
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
"'A comprehensive study would have to done before the bill is passed,' said Nelson’s spokesman, Steve Zeltser."

Actually, they should have done even a half-a**ed study BEFORE they introduced their ridiculous legislation. Heck, they could have even asked a fireman or two, but no, they'd rather pander to law-breaking drivers.
Dec. 22, 2010, 10:30 am
Bob Scott from Brooklyn Heights says:
1. The primary issue is NOT the number of feet (we'll need to defer to the FD on that) but the importance of marking the spot with yellow paint — AS THEY USED TO BE MARKED. (Why haven't the pols or the newspapers pointed out that until just a few decades ago, the no-standing zones were clearly delineated by a yellow line.)

2. No one should dispute the need to maintain a no-standing zone around hydrants. But our neighborhoods are burdened by many other no-standing zones that ALLEGEDLY exist to facilitate the passage of fire trucks. The phoniness of many of these zones in Brooklyn Heights — such as the one-side-only parking along Hicks and Henry streets — is proven by the corner neckdowns installed last year at a cost of untold millions. Why prohibit parking when the no-parking lane is necked down at each corner, thereby blocking fire trucks exactly as would a parked car.
Dec. 22, 2010, 11:40 am
FDNY Guy from Red Hook says:
Its not bad enough we have to navigate through very tight streets jammed with double parked cars, UPS and oil delivery trucks, contractors vans, moms waiting to pick up (insert trendy hipster child name here) at school and cars parked out to the corner and now this....Great to see some of the readers are on our side, now tell your community board and council people to tell this dope to take a hike....
Dec. 22, 2010, 9:59 pm
gee gee from bay ridge says:
let's get something straight - firemen have lots of time to paint the lines. the number of fires & the number of false alarms have dropped dramatically. so much so that giuliani, pandering to the firemen, assigned them to handle EMS work - how ridiculous to see a giant truck roll to heart attack call. and isn't it time that we stop paying firemen to sleep at the firehouse - isn't it time that we put them on 8 hour shifts (gee, maybe the firemen like being away from their families 3 or so days at a time). how many city workers are paid to sleep (read carefully, i didn't say how many sleep while they are paid...lol). firemen are brave - i do not question their bravery. but the boondoggle of being paid to sleep, the waste of having them roll to medical calls and the day of passing the job from a white irish father to a white irish son has got to pass.
Dec. 23, 2010, 1:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Although there is a good chance that the distance from either side of fire hydrants will not change, there still needs to be curb markings no matter what. This will help drivers know where the distance is so that they won't have to risk getting ticketed for this. It probably doesn't cost much to do this, so I don't see the excuses for this not to be done. I wouldn't be surprised if Bloomberg or any other anti-car fanatics oppose this because they believe that no revenue can be made from this when they will now how much to keep when the markings indicate it. The truth is that most don't know how much is considered 15 feet and not everyone has a ruler. If you asked me, it's much more necessary than the bike lanes. It won't even take that long to paint the curbs as it only takes one person to do each of them. There are so many other cities and towns that already do this for hydrants, so I don't see why NYC can't do this.
Dec. 24, 2010, 11:18 am
FDNY Guy from Red Hook says:
Well Gee Gee where do I start?
True that fires and false alarms are down but our work load (runs, the number of times we are called) has actually reached an all time high. You call firemen responding to a heart attack in giant truck ridiculous. Really? Tell that to the poor bastard laying on the floor while we do CPR, establish an airway, ventilate him and possibly deliver defibrillator shocks in an effort to save him; I dont think he would deem it ridiculous. What may be ridiculous is the amount of time we are caring for that patient while waiting for an ambulance which is giving what boils down to taxi rides to the hospital for other "patients".
The comment about white irish fathers passing along the job to sons is an utterly antiquated notion. If you want the job you study and prepare for it like I did. You take the civil service test and get ranked, that simple. The civil service board never asked me who my father was; he was never a fireman and I still got hired.
As for sleeping at the firehouse why dont you walk up to your local firehouse tonight, Christmas Eve, and tell the guys how fortunate they are to be at work cacthing a nap and not at home with their families. That is if they are at the firehouse and not responding or operating at one of those ridiclulous medical calls trying to save a life.


Dec. 24, 2010, 8:01 pm
trans alt from bike nation says:
Parking anywhere near a hydrant is enough reason for NYC to take their car away forever. NYC should take every car caught breaking any traffic law until NYC is finally car free. Start with all the abandoned cars everywhere tonight.
Dec. 27, 2010, 6:48 pm
ty from pps says:
A sidewalk Square is 5 feet. 3 sidewalk squares = 15 feet.

2 sidewalk squares is not ok. 4 sidewalk squares is not ok.

Simple, no?
June 1, 2012, 2:34 pm
Menachem Goldstein from Borough Park says:
Paint the curb near the hydrants? Lol. You drive. You figure out how far 15 feet is.
Feb. 3, 2015, 8:57 pm

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