CITY ISLAND - Residents and politicians gathered at City Hall Friday in a last-ditch effort to keep a ladder company open overnight.

Starting Saturday, Ladder Company 53 on City Island will close nightly at 6 p.m. and reopen at 9 a.m. the following day. The overnight closure of Ladder Company 53, as well as six other companies in the city, is part of the city?s efforts to cut costs. According to city officials, the closures will save $8.9 million.

According to Steve Cassidy, of the Uniform Firefighters Association, the cutting of operations risks people?s lives. Councilman Jimmy Vacca (D-The Bronx) testified at a hearing that the recent fire on City Island Avenue is proof that the ladder company shouldn?t close overnight.

The engine company will remain operational 24 hours a day. However, while the ladder company is closed, a ladder truck from Co-op City will respond to fires. According to the FDNY, it will take the Co-op City ladder truck 10 minutes to arrive on City Island.

CityIsland residents cry out against ladder closureAfterfire, focus turns to City Island's Ladder Comp. 53Fireravages 5 apartments, 3 businesses on City IslandFDNYannounces cutbacks, closures