Even when announcing cuts, city officials are careful to tell us that police and fire services will continue as usual. But that claim is getting harder to make. Fire Commission Nicholas Scoppetta announced today that, in order to make up a $60 million+ shortfall in the NYFD budget, four engine companies will cease night operations. The firehouses they serve will remain open, and the ladder companies will stay on the job.
The affected companies, per WABC, are Engine Co. #4 on South Street, #161 on McClean Avenue in Staten Island, #271 on Himrod Street in Brooklyn, and #53 on Schofield Street in the Bronx. The Staten Island Advance says this will save $9 million a year, mainly in overtime salaries, but it is unclear who covers the night-closing engine companies. (The McClean company is one-and-a-half miles from the nearest firehouses with engine companies.)
Also, training of new firefighters will be cut back from 23 weeks to 18. Hiring will also be cut by an unspecified amount.