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Mayor Michael Bloomberg Defends Plan To Shutter 20 Firehouses

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his proposal to close 20 city fire companies as a budget-cutting measure.

On his weekly WOR Radio show on Friday, the mayor said firefighting has changed over the last century. He says most houses today are not made of wood, have sprinklers and “hopefully” smoke detectors.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks With More On The Mayor’s Comments

Bloomberg says that since the 1940s, 20 firehouses have closed in Lower Manhattan. And despite concerns, he says, response times and fire deaths are at a new low.

On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was among those criticizing the planned closings.

Bloomberg says sacrifices have to be made somewhere.

The city has six weeks to finalize its budget.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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