City Officials Deny Report On Firehouse Closures

NY 1 - October 26, 2009

City officials deny that there are plans to close firehouses.

The New York Post, however, reports today that firehouse closings are one idea the city is considering to plug a $5 billion budget gap next year.

Another measure could be lowering staffing from five firefighters to four at 60 engine companies across the city, which city officials also deny.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a Fire Department spokesman said Sunday that neither of those plans is on the table.

"I don't know where the story came from. There's no plans to close firehouses," said the mayor. "We've worked it out with the City Council to provide funding for them. I suspect that somebody was just planting a story. But there's no plans to close any of those firehouses, it's ridiculous."

Last year, the city originally wanted to close 16 firehouses, but the mayor and City Council reached a budget deal to keep them open.

Some observers told the Post that the 16 firehouses that were under consideration for closing last year could be under threat of closing this year.

Other sources say as many as 25 could be targeted for closure.