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Firefighters Call for Independent Inquiry Into Use of Older Vehicles

December 8, 2005

The Uniformed Fighfighters Association (UFA) of greater New York is calling for an independent investigation of the Fire Department of the City of New York’s (F.D.N.Y.) reliance on older vehicles, which they say are outdated and unsafe, according to the New York Times. The request comes in the wake of a recent accident where firefighter Joseph Moore fractured his skull after falling from a ladder truck in Manhattan. Moore was riding in an older truck at the time of the accident because a newer one was undergoing maintenance. Although F.D.N.Y. officials said that an outside investigation is not needed, Stephen J. Cassidy, the president of the UFA, feels that the department is “incapable of handling such an investigation objectively.” The association also cited its concern for newer vehicles that are poorly maintained following an incident where a new fire truck’s engine caught fire while returning to its firehouse in Brooklyn. The incident, according to the association, reflects how problems with new trucks from the department’s main supplier – Seagrave Fire Apparatus – has caused older ones to be returned to service. Many of those trucks they say have been delivered late and with mechanical problems.Spokespeople for the F.D.N.Y. contend, however, that the department has relentlessly pressured the firm to make improvements or risk losing business, and have since seen “measurable improvements” in the company’s performance.
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