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Press Releases / 2003 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2003

MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG’S STATEMENT ON
THE REDUCTION OF THE CLOSINGS OF FIRE COMPANIES

I am pleased to announce that because of the assistance we have gotten today from Albany, and in the interests of exercising the maximum caution allowable given our still precarious fiscal situation, we now believe it is possible to reduce the number of fire companies that are slated for closing. Rather than closing the previously announced eight companies, we believe a 25% reduction in the planned closings is possible. Engine 293 in Woodhaven, Queens and Squad 252 in Bushwick, Brooklyn will not be closed as previously announced.

“The response times in the area served by Engine 293 would have risen above the citywide average, something we would like to avoid. By keeping Squad 252 in Brooklyn, we are able to maintain the borough’s Hazmat capabilities. As part of our redeployment plans, we will give extra Hazmat training to Engine 44 in Manhattan, thereby providing the protection for that area that the previously schedule move of Squad 252 to that Firehouse would have provided.

“Hopefully, the City’s expense and tax revenue picture will brighten with an improved economy and real cost savings from our municipal unions. If either or both of these don’t assist us to the extent however, necessary, we will have to revisit the issues of asset deployment in this and all other areas down the road. Unfortunately, financial realities just do not allow us to maintain all fire companies currently in existence, but we believe this plan balances fiscal necessities with our duty to protect the public.”

Contact: Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958

No. 133

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