Danbury May Finally Merge Fire Stations Due To Lack Of Volunteers
It's an idea that has been in the talking stage for almost three decades. Now due to the lack of volunteers the Danbury Fire Department is considering consolidation of their fire stations to be able to serve the area better and more efficiently.
TJ Weidl, Danbury's Fire Chef, explained what's going on to newstimes.com:
It’s become more and more difficult for volunteer stations to have enough members to be able to respond as regularly as we would like.
Even though this process has been talked about for years, earlier this month, officers and members of the volunteer Water Witch Hose Company No. 7 unanimously voted to join three other companies — the Padanaram Hose Co. No. 3, Germantown Volunteer Fire Co. No. 10 and Beaver Brook Volunteer Fire Co. No. 11.
Charlie Coakley, who's the Lieutenant at Padanaram Hose Co No 3 had this to say to newstimes.com about what's happening:
We’re in the very early stages of everything and right now we’re basically trying to get ideas together about our guys responding together. Recruitment and retention is down so we’re just trying to work things and make a better group out of the four, be a little more versatile so that we’re able to respond a little quicker and work as a whole better.
Fire Chef Weidl further explained the idea of this possible consolidation saying the idea is to merge the volunteer companies into two groups so “the bulk of them respond together out of a single location each.”
Weidl also said that the department is working hard to recuit new volunteers:
The department has a new class of 20 ... which is terrific for the fire volunteers — but still, it’s hard. Even if there were 24 in the class, and each company got two, that’s not a lot of people when the bell goes off. This idea of consolidation is a very, very good one because then we’d know we’re going to get a response.
Right now there are between 100-110 volunteers firefighters, but after almost three decades of talk, the consolidation looks like it's finally going to happen. Stay tuned.