State fire commission calls for study before halving ACFD

An audit and feasibility study is needed before any cuts are made to Atlantic City’s fire department, according to the state assemblyman  who chairs the Fire Safety Commission.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who announced his gubernatorial run last year, wrote in a Jan. 27 letter to Gov. Chris Christie that a proposal to cut 100 positions would close at least two or three fire companies and bring on-duty personnel below National Fire Protection Association code.
For example, he wrote, 43 firefighters must be deployed within the first 10 minutes of a high-rise fire, but the proposed cuts would mean only 30 firefighters on duty.
“If the ACFD is not adequately equipped, particularly during the peak summer months that bring well over 100,000 people in the city, tourists can go elsewhere,” warned Wisniewski, D-Middlesex.
The letter was made public Saturday in a tweet by the department’s fire union.
The commission “is calling for an impact study to be done before cutting ACFD in half,” ACFD Local 198 tweeted. “Residents should DEMAND the same.”
Mayor Don Guardian told BreakingAC on Friday that he put his name on a lawsuit filed to stop the move in order to protect anyone from the department from being targeted as a result.
He also removed two portions from the filing that he said were cited as reasons to move it to federal court, where it currently is.
The union has filed a motion to send it back to Superior Court.
“The service Atlantic City firefighters provide to the community is not as luxury provided to the people who live and visit Atlantic City, it is among the most basic responsibilities of government,” Wisniewski wrote.

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