Holyoke Firefighters Association
Local 1693-I.A.F.F., AFL-CIO
P.O. Box 1159, Holyoke, MA 01040
For immediate release:
December 4th, 2014
The City of Holyoke has informed Holyoke Firefighters I.A.F.F. Local 1693, that starting December 4th, 2014 at 700 A.M. the Deputy Aide, Engine #2, Tactical Unit 1 and Tactical Unit 2 will be “browned-out” due to a shortfall in the budget. A “brown-out” occurs when a piece of apparatus is temporarily taken out of service when minimal staffing levels are not maintained. These cuts in service will affect the safety of the public and members of the Holyoke Fire Department.
The “browning-out” of Engine 2 will not only affect South Holyoke and the Elmwood area, but all of downtown Holyoke, as it will only be covered by one Engine Company. The two tactical units are licensed as class 5 ambulances; which carry lifesaving equipment and medication for many critical life emergencies such as diabetic emergencies, allergic reactions, heart attacks and drug overdoses. When seconds count, longer response times could mean the difference between life and death.
This change will not only affect fire and emergency response times, but will also have an effect on the City’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule set by Insurance Services Office of Boston Ma. This rating is used by the insurance industry in setting property insurance rates. Just what effect this may have on rates is unclear, but there may be an increase in the cost of property insurance.
Holyoke is unique in the fact that it has buildings to support a population of over 70,000, many of which remain abandoned today. The City’s failure to appropriate proper funding or maintain the proper staffing levels has put Holyoke residents’ safety in jeopardy; along with the safety of the City’s firefighters. We implore City Officials to restore the proper funding immediately.
E-2 Brownout Sign.pdf