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Residents, Students Protest Closing Of Park Slope Firehouse Engine 220

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Students from P.S. 107 marched over to Engine 220 to show their support for the firehouse - one of 20 set to close under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's budget.

The children waved signs and chanted "Save our firehouse!"

1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports: One Woman Says Engine 220 Saved Her Life


"It's a travesty," one local resident said. "It's worse than short-sighted, it's blind-sighted."

Engine 220 Rally
Students protest the closing of Engine 220 on May 25, 2011 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

Eight firehouses in Brooklyn alone are set to close.

"We know there are budget challenges but again the bottom line is the safety and security of our residents," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said.

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, Ladder 161 in Coney Island, also slated to be closed, saved a man's life from a fire at an apartment Bayview Avenue.

"If they had been closed that man would be dead today," Markowitz said.

Markowitz said every single firehouse in New York City should be kept open.

Fire Union Chief Steve Cassidy says the stakes are high and response times will rise.

"Seconds count when you're trapped in a fire, this administration doesn't seem to care about second," Cassidy said. "We need to rise up in one voice and say to the Bloomberg administration, 'No, you are not closing my firehouse, not today, not ever.'"

One woman, whose house caught fire on Christmas, said she owes everything to the men of Engine 220.

"The firemen here came within three minutes," she said. "[They] saved our house, our family of six. We're alive, thanks to 220."

Councilman Brad Lander, who represents Park Slope, said Bloomberg cares more about saving money than about saving lives.

"How could we possibly decide to close firehouses while we've got that reserve fund, how could we decide to close firehouse at the same time we're set to give a tax break to millionaires and billionaires," Lander said.

Joanna Walker always had the peace of mind knowing the firehouse was around the corner.

"It's always worrying if places that are so close, close down," Walker said.

Is your local firehouse closing? Are you worried about your safety? Let us know below

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