Bloomberg Defends Fire Department Staff Cuts

Mayor Bloomberg's plan to save money by reducing staff on 64 fire engines, is getting stiff resistance from the Firefighters Union. Fire engines would carry five instead of six people. The mayor says the reductions would come from attrition, not layoffs, and he says the plan comes directly from fire chiefs.

BLOOMBERG: It would be the best ways according to the chiefs to keep the city safe while we spend less money.

REPORTER: The mayor says the alternative is to close 16 fire companies - a budget the city council traditionally resists.

Council budget hearings start next week. A budget deal between the Council and Mayor has to be reached by July 1st.