New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending a proposal to close 20 city fire companies as a budget-cutting measure.
On his weekly WOR Radio show on Friday, the mayor said firefighting has changed over the last century. He says most buildings today are not made of wood, have sprinklers and "hopefully'' smoke detectors.
Bloomberg says that since the 1940s, 20 firehouses have closed in Lower Manhattan. And despite concerns, he says, response times and fire deaths are at a new low.
On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was among those criticizing the planned closings.
According to the Daily News, he says it's an inappropriate budget negotiating pawn.
Bloomberg says sacrifices have to be made somewhere.
The city has six weeks to finalize its budget.