Over the last 18 months I've been hearing rumors. One of them (given to me by someone who has been very accurate) is that after the election, South fire station was to go up for sale. The reasoning behind it was simple, why keep an engine house that only housed an Ambulance and a part time Fire Engine?
Well after this wonderful weekend, the value of South Station CAN NOT be exaggerated. Built in 1977 for a crew of six per shift, it was used this weekend as an emergency Fire Headquarters (it is the ONLY Firehouse out of the flood plain) and for a while as a temporary Police HQ. For the duration it was manned by over a dozen Firefighters and (for a while) several Police. Also most of fire headquarters movable equipment and 'sensitive' documents were moved there.
I've found that most people are amazed to learn that, of our firehouses, ONLY South Station is out of the flood zone. And no, I don't know why Hollenback Station was built in a flood plain. But, after the last few days, I do know that KEEPING South Station, and keeping it manned 24/7 is of VITAL importance to the safety of our city.
Please remember that the Lloyds study, the one that the city commissioned, payed for (with our tax money) and now ignores, says 17 firefighters per shift. Our mayor says 12.
It's about two issues.
The number of firefighters immediately available (because bad things don't wait or they wouldn't BE bad things) to help you, and with our recent experience, Location of those assets.
The other issue is the TOTAL number of firefighters that can be called upon. Somewhere around two dozen have retired since Leighton has taken over the reigns. He has hired six. This is UNACCEPTABLE. We pay HIGH taxes for our safety. WE are NOT getting what we are paying for.
Enough for now, I'm beat.
Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote