From the NY Post:
Up to 25 fire companies could be shuttered next year as City Hall cost cutters battle to extinguish the $5 billion hole burning through the municipal budget.
The closings are just one idea officials are weighing in the face of their yawning budget gap. Each ladder and engine-company shutdown would save about $1 million a year, sources said.
Another possible budget-slashing measure is lowering staffing on 60 engine companies from five firefighters to four.
City officials proposed slashing $16 million from this year's budget with engine-staffing cuts, but fire-union opposition scuttled the plan.
"It is expected that in the current financial climate, it will all be looked at again," an FDNY insider said.
Safety advocates are sounding alarms over the possibility of slashing fire companies and staffing.
"If this happens, it would be crazy," said Councilman James Vacca, chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee.
"You can't put a price on a person's life. We proved by closing engine and ladder companies you are increasing response times. One minute, three minutes, five minute -- this means life and limb."