- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Three Bronx Firehouses Could Get Axed By City Budget | Bronx News Networkbronx

Monday, June 20, 2011

Three Bronx Firehouses Could Get Axed By City Budget

 Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared in the June edition of the Tremont Tribune, out now.

Budget cuts have 20 of the city’s firehouses on the chopping block—including local Engine 46 in Bathgate, on the Cross Bronx Expressway and Third Avenue.

In addition to Engine 46, two other companies in the Bronx face a possible closure: Ladder 53 on City Island and Engine 60 in the South Bronx.

Firefighters, residents and elected officials rallied at City Hall on June 3 to protest the potential closures, laid out in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget 2012, which estimates the move would save the cash-strapped city approximately $55 million.

Engine 46 is the busiest of the 20 houses slated for closure, according to an FDNY report, having made 4,153 “runs” last year. If the company is eliminated, that workload “can be absorbed by surrounding companies,” the report said.

But critics say that would dangerously increase emergency response times in many neighborhoods.

“If it takes [even] 30 seconds more for a fire fighter to respond to a fire, that’s someone’s life that’s in jeopardy,” said City Councilman Joel Rivera, whose district includes Engine 46.

“You cannot put a price tag on a person’s life,” he continued. “I don’t know anyone who wants to have that conversation with a parent, with a property owner, saying sorry, but it was a budget cut.”

Bloomberg’s budget has threatened fire companies before, but for the last few years, the City Council has negotiated to restore funding.

The mayor and the City Council have until July 1 to agree on, and pass, a budget.


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