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City Island's Firehouse Spared in Budget


City Island's sole firehouse will remain open under budget deal.

The New York City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on the 2012 budget that will not only save 20 fire stations, but also avoid the laying off of 4,100 teachers.

City Island resident Frank Alba said the presence of a fire station in his Bronx community is non-negotiable.

“This is the only fire department on the island, and God forbid if anything catastrophic happened… there is no way to get on this Island, but one way on, one way out. If you had to come from somewhere else, minutes could mean lives.”

A large boating community thrives on City Island, and residents say the absence of a firehouse there could spell disaster.

“If anything should happen, if one of these guys got on his boat and his propane stove caught on fire… the entire boatyard could be wiped out, and nobody could possibly come in time.”

The firefighters that populate the island’s only station say fire protection is a right the community deserves. Fireman Walter Henning said he's pleased a deal was struck to keep his fire station open.

“We are very happy about it, and residents deserve it. You know, there is a large tax base up here, and they deserve to have full fire protection like any other neighborhood in this borough.”