Bronx City Council Member Marjorie Velázquez announced a capital funding allocation surpassing $1 million to support the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) in her district.
Velázquez, a Throggs Neck Democrat representing the city’s 13th Council District, collaborated with FDNY officials over the past year to discuss funding priorities.
In a press conference on Monday, Velázquez revealed that $1.39 million would be allocated to the FDNY, pinpointing three stations in the East Bronx that require repairs.
Pelham Garden’s Engine 97 station will benefit from $1.2 million for a new firehouse generator, a critical asset in the face of events like the recent storms and flooding, ensuring uninterrupted operations during power disruptions.
Engine 70 in City Island is slated to receive $125,000 for the installation of a new overhead door, while Morris Park’s EMS Station 20 will be granted $68,300 for door replacements.
“Our emergency response partners play an essential role within our communities,” Velázquez stated.
“The allocation for this year aims to improve conditions for Bronx residents during emergencies, enhancing the services our firefighters and EMS workers deliver from the firehouses to the neighborhoods they serve.”
The Bronx’s fire history is notably marked by challenges. Over the past forty years, the Bronx has witnessed numerous residential fires and significant incidents such as the 1976 Puerto Rican Social Club fire and the 1990 Happy Land Social Club blaze.
Despite initiatives, such as the 2017 introduction of self-closing doors in residential buildings following a Belmont fire, challenges persist.
Recent tragedies like the January 2022 Twin Parks North West apartment fire in Fordham Heights underscore the ongoing need for fire safety measures and resources.
Velázquez’s office emphasized that emergency response funding forms a core component of the council member’s vision for 2023.
Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh expressed her support, stating: “These crucial upgrades symbolize a significant boost to our emergency response capabilities and reaffirm our pledge to the citizens we diligently serve.”
The allocation of funds for the FDNY stations in the East Bronx signifies a proactive step in enhancing emergency response capabilities in an area with a notable history of fire-related challenges.
By focusing on tangible upgrades like generators and doors, the effort underscores the importance of equipping first responders with the tools they require.
This move not only bolsters emergency preparedness but also resonates deeply with Bronx communities, emphasizing the commitment to their safety and well-being.