Sources are telling the Post that city officials are considering closing 25 firehouses in the five boroughs as a cost-cutting measure. Each closing would contribute $1 million to the city’s $5 billion budget gap. The city proposed 16 company closings in this year’s budget.
Another cost-cutting measure reportedly being considered would reduce staffing in 60 firehouses from 5 to 4. The city attempted to save $16 million in the current budget with staffing cuts, but were held off by the firefighter’s union.
FDNY says that a streamlined 911 system has brought response times to record lows in the five boroughs, but the Uniformed Firefighters Associations questions those numbers. Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Captain Al Hagen said in a statement, “Improvements have been artificially generated by sending units out the door with incomplete information, often to the wrong address or with the wrong equipment. That kind of ‘improvement’ gives a decidedly false sense of security to the citizens of NYC.”
The FDNY denies that closings are planned. A spokesman for Bloomberg said that rumors of planned closings are “political”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 25, 2009