From the Daily News
The FDNY is facing drastic cuts - even the possibility of closing firehouses - as the city grapples with a devastating budget crisis, the Daily News has learned.
FDNY officials and Mayor Bloomberg's staffers have met to negotiate the upcoming budget, and, while it's a last resort, firehouse closures are "on the table," Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano told The News.
"Everything is in play," a grim Cassano said when asked about firehouses. "We've received no assurances that anything is safe. Everything is up for discussion."
More talks are scheduled in the coming days as Bloomberg prepares to release his budget plan on Thursday.
The FDNY, like most agencies, has been told to expect significant cuts to close the budget gap, Cassano said. Much of the FDNY's budget goes toward day-to-day operations - meaning any cuts would sting.
"Our budget is 90% on the operations side. So when the mayor says to make cuts, it stands to reason that operations will be looked at," Cassano said.
Which firehouses are at risk of closing is undecided. But FDNY sources said the 16 companies targeted for shutdown during last year's budget negotiations - but ultimately spared when the City Council restored funds - are again being considered.