"They'll continue at least until June," he said. "We'll reevaluate it before going into the next fiscal year [in July]."
Mayor Nutter, Ayers and the deputy mayor for public safety, Everett Gillison, were slammed with bitter criticism from the firefighters union over the brownouts.
In October, the union scoffed when the city asked the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority to fund an outside study of the department's operations.
Despite the controversy, Ayers said, his firefighters "stayed the course. When the alarm bell rings, they get out there."
The Fire Department responded to 271,010 emergency calls during 2010, 223,265 of which were medical emergencies.
Both sets of numbers represented minor increases from 2009.
Ayers said that firefighters installed more than 16,000 smoke alarms for free in homes across the city in an attempt to drive down the number of fire deaths.
Fourteen of last year's fire deaths occurred in houses that had no working alarms.
Ayers urged residents who don't have alarms to call the city's smoke alarm hot line, 215-686-1176, and visit the department's website, www.phila.gov/fire, to complete a home-fire safety checklist.
The number of fire deaths is still down dramatically from earlier this decade; 52 fatal fires occurred in both 2005 and 2006.