Bloomberg’s Budget Could Close 20 Fire Companies

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – In addition to cutting more than 6,000 teaching jobs from New York City’s public schools, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed $67 billion spending plan could force 20 fire companies to close.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano’s only response is that his companies just won’t get to fires as quickly.

“The response time goes up; it takes us longer to get there to work the fires. The only saving grace is in the areas that we are potentially going to close fire companies response times are low in those areas. They’re below the city average,” Cassano said.

Cassano said they’ve done a great job at reducing response times, but with 20 companies closed; those times will “certainly go up.”

Holly Fuchs lives in Brooklyn and the fire company near her home already shut down in 2003. Now she’s afraid of what could happen if 20 more fire companies are shut down.

“There is not enough fire coverage right now. There are fire companies coming from other places to cover fires,” she said.

Meanwhile, teachers plan to protest Bloomberg’s budget proposal on Monday.

Bloomberg, however, maintains it’s not his fault. He said blame Washington’s and Albany’s combined $1.7 billion cut to education aid.

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