By Victoria Merlino and Jonathan Sperling
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, members of Uniformed Fire Officers Association and Uniformed Firefighters Association and several local elected officials gathered to call for the reinstatement of FDNY Engine Company 261 in Long Island City on Wednesday.
Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who both represent the Long Island City area, also joined Maloney in calling for the return of Engine Company 261, at FDNY Ladder Company 116, located at 37-20 29th St. in LIC.
Maloney, who’s 12th Congressional District contains a large swath of Western Queens, along with parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, also penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking for the return of the engine company.
Support for the re-opening of Engine Company 261, which was closed by a Mayor Michael Bloomberg-era cost cutting measure in 2003 comes as the population in and around LIC rises to new highs. As of 2015, LIC and Astoria have a combined total population of over 201,000 people, according to the NYC Department of Health’s Community Health Profile for the area.