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Friday, December 26, 2008

Fake fire calls, real budget woe

A city firefighter went too far faking 911 calls to protect his City Island station from a partial shutdown, but he was right to worry about the cutback's impact, neighbors said.

Nicholas Vrettos, 30, was busted Thursday on charges of calling in fake fire calls to insulate City Island's Ladder 53 from budget cuts.

The FDNY said City Island's lone firehouse was one of the least busy in the city. So while its engine company will remained fully staffed, its ladder company is slated to close at night as part of the cost-savings plan.

"Absolute foolishness unless they can give us a written guarantee that there will be no fires at night," said retired firefighter and City Island resident Edward Sadler, 92.

Firefighters would have to travel from other Bronx stations to battle nighttime City Island blazes, he said. read more...

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