Understaffing at Harrison's fire department

April 1, 2013 8:13:41 PM PDT
There is growing anger from several fire departments in New Jersey about the under staffing of a neighboring fire department in Hudson County.

Five Jersey City firefighters were hurt March 10 when they helped the Harrison Fire Department battle a back draft blaze.

They're supposed to be a band of brothers, but there's little brotherly love right now.

It was a heart stopping explosion.

The building was in Harrison, New Jersey, but that explosion injured five Jersey City firefighters.

They had to come to the fire because Harrison doesn't have enough manpower to fight fires.

In fact, other cities help out often in Harrison with fires and other emergencies.

But now, they may be done helping out.

"The town, it won't bite the bullet and look its citizens in the eye. We can't have our manpower and police and fire go down this low," Jersey City Mayor Jeremiah Healy said.

Sometimes the Harrison firehouse is deserted.

George Lugin lives right across the street, and a few weeks ago slipped on the ice and broke his ankle.

"We're right across the street and we were slamming on the door, slamming on the door and nobody responded," said Ellen Lugin, the victim's wife.

"They weren't there, they were out on another call," said George Lugin, victim.

In fact, Lugin was eventually transported by Kearney EMT's to St. Michael's Hospital.

After a number of fires and other emergencies that Harrison couldn't handle, Kearney, Jersey City, and some other towns have put Harrison on notice.

"The burden is becoming much too heavy for us, our firefighters, our fire department, and our tax payers to bear," Mayor Healy said.

"It leaves everybody very vulnerable," George Lugin said.