Syracuse Fire Station on University Hill may be shut down

A fire station on University Hill may close as city officials try to deal with a roughly $30 million dollar budget deficit.

Fire Station No. 7 is on East Fayette Street between University and South Crouse Ave. on Syracuse's east side.

The President of the Syracuse Fire Association, Lonnie Johnson, tells CNY Central the union will do whatever it can to keep the station open.

"We think it's a bad time to close this fire station. We just had up to 28,000 runs and Station 7 had close to 6,000 runs. So we think closing the fire station at this time is a bad decision. It's a safety issue," says Johnson.

The closure of this particular station has been discussed at city meetings before because it's old and needs repairs. The mayor's office says those repairs would cost between $1 million and $1.5 million, but Johnson says that number is being exaggerated.

The mayor's office also says Station 7 handles a large number of medical calls, but few fires. Johnson says this is also inaccurate.

"I think that's wrong. The engine had over 2,100 calls. The mini had 3,800 calls. And a medical call is just as important. You're saving people's lives," says Johnson.

Ultimately, the fire department's budget will be left to Fire Chief Mark McLees and his staff. McLees did not respond to our request for an interview.