New York Daily News

Wednesday, May 13th 2009, 4:00 AM


4 FDNY companies doomed; Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta warns 12 more are severely threatened


BY Jonathan Lemire




Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta speaks to City Council about firehouse closings in March.


Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta testified before the City Council Tuesday about the impending closure of four FDNY companies - and warned that 12 more may go dark by the end of the year.


Over protests from several Council members, Scoppetta said the city's budget crisis made it impossible to save the four companies, including the only ladder company on City Island in the Bronx. They will close July 1.


Scoppetta said the additional dozen companies - which have not been selected - could be saved with concessions from the fire unions.


Currently, 134 of 198 engine companies are staffed with four firefighters, while the remaining 64 companies carry five firefighters. If those units switched to smaller crews, the savings would allow the fire companies to stay open, Scoppetta said.


The unions blasted the plan, saying the proposal would endanger public safety during the busiest time in the FDNY's history. 2009 Daily News, L.P. All rights reserved.