In a $47 million step toward diversity in the firehouse, FDNY announced on Monday that renovations to all the city’s firehouses are complete and those who identify as women have a separate bathroom and changing area.
The department has 67 firefighters, including nine women of 330 probationary firefighters who were recently sworn in — the second largest group of women to enter the training academy in FDNY history.
“The city’s commitment to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and afforded the same opportunities has now achieved another milestone — the ability for all women firefighters to work in any firehouse throughout the city and have access to appropriate bathroom and changing facilities,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.
The project took 14 years to complete, Nigro said, but now all 214 of the city’s active firehouses have been renovated.
The price sounds steep, but according to an FDNY spokesman, the money didn’t go to golden toilets. Changes to hallways and plumbing had to be made as well as — in some cases — asbestos abatement, so $47 million covers the cost of renovating the final 47 firehouses during the past two years.
From 2002 to 2011, more than $30 million was spent to install facilities for those who identify as women in 54 firehouses — projects that were deemed the easiest and least expensive to complete, according to the FDNY.
Two firehouses are vacant and “undergoing major gut rehabs” and a third firehouse will get the full treatment with new facilities installed in the spring, the FDNY said.