Former Atlantic City Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Foley called in live, on-the-air to spill the beans that there are very serious shortages regarding both Fire Stations and apparatus.

Foley outlined that The Annapolis Avenue Fire Station is closed, along with Engines 7, 6, and 4 which are also out of service at the present time.

Foley is concerned that a tragedy may await the citizens of Atlantic City, due to these serious shortages and operational deficiencies.

Foley shared the following regarding The present circumstances:

“Today, April 29th Atlantic City Fire Department has three Engine Companies out of service California and Atlantic, Annapolis and Atlantic, and Maryland and Atlantic. That means we have no fire apparatus to deliver water to the scene of a fire until a borrowed engine that's over 30 years old in Chelsea Heights and Indiana and Baltic to deliver water on a detailed basis. This is a disgrace what is the state and city Administration doing to the Fire protection of our citizens, Firefighters, and visitors. God forbid is it going to take a tragic loss of lives to stop the dangerous practice!” said Foley,

We also had a wide-ranging conversation earlier today with John Varallo, President of the Atlantic City Professional Firefighters at local #198.

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Varallo confirmed the following facts:

That Engine 4, which is located on California and Atlantic Avenues has been closed due to staffing shortages for the past few years. This has been felt.

It was closed due to decisions made during the state of New Jersey's takeover of Atlantic City.

Varallo advised that Engine 6, located on Annapolis and Atlantic Avenues is currently closed.

Further, Engine 7, located on Maryland and Atlantic Avenues is currently closed.

Varallo advised that “two members will be relieved and Engine 3, which is located on the Westside, along with an engine, at Maryland and Atlantic will run with 3 members instead of the minimum 4 member staffing,” said Varallo.

“This is an abomination and an example of a poorly executed plan, outright dangerous,” said Varallo.

“Just yesterday, we had a fire on Sovereign Avenue… Engine 6 was first due, with a victim and currently, the only apparatus on that side of town is the engine that we borrowed from Ventnor … which is located over the bridge in Chelsea Heights,” said Varallo.

”Please be mindful that the members of engine 5 are riding in an open cab. It's so bad, that a suburban follows the engine with 2 members in it because it is unsafe this day and age to be in an exposed cab,” said Varallo.

“Response times will be greatly affected. This is not only dangerous for the residents and visitors but for the firefighters themselves, concluded Varallo.

Varallo also emphasized that the on-duty deputy did the best he could with the resources that were allocated. Varallo said that this is something that should have been planned for well in advanced.”

We also know that Atlantic City Fire Chief Scott Evans is doing everything that he can to keep things afloat during these dangerous times.

Evans is a former Mayor of Atlantic City. He understands the various dynamics.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small must step up before Atlantic City experiences a tragedy, that otherwise could be prevented or mitigated with proper staffing, structural facilities and apparatus provided for the public safety.

SOURCES: John Varallo, President - Atlantic City Professional Firefighters Local # 198 & Tom Foley, Atlantic City Battalion Chief (retired).

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