With at least 20 fire companies - and as many as 62 - under threat of closure due to the city and state budget woes, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who chairs City Council's Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, is continuing to speak at rallies throughout the five boroughs in opposition to the planned cuts.
“Back in October, Mayor Bloomberg stated to the media that he had no plans to close any fire companies. Today, only a few short months later, we are looking at the potential closure of 20 fire companies and as many as an additional 42 companies outlined in the State’s doomsday budget," said Crowley at a rally in Brooklyn, where she was joined by Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge).
"Just yesterday, President Barack Obama praised the FDNY for their response to the potential bombing in Times Square. In times like this, when America and especially New York City, is vulnerable to a terrorist attack, we cannot even consider reducing the size of our fire department. We understand that we’re in tough budget times but the message is that fires don’t care about budgets,” added Crowley.
"Fewer fire companies means higher response times to fires, and just a couple minutes added on to how quickly engines respond means lost lives," said Gentile. "Neighborhood pockets of homes, businesses and residents will be unprotected if fire companies close – and sacrificing those things, even in the face of a tight City budget, is something we’re not going to accept.”
Gentile and Crowley were joined a host of other officials, civic leaders and fire union members to demand that Mayor Bloomberg rethink his planned cuts.