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Fire Department consolidation not a viable proposition

To the News Enterprise:

How convenient that an individual in the hamlet of North Creek (there appears to be some confusion that there is a Town of North Creek) is seeking a consolidation of all of the local volunteer fire departments because the one department would maybe be located in North Creek.

OK, so — don’t stop to think about the time it would take for a department to respond to a call to Garnet Lake, North River, Bakers Mills or Riparius.

Don’t stop to think that if a consolidation were to take place that the Town would probably have to maintain the fire department as a paid department with 24/7 coverage due to the large area being covered.

Don’t stop to think of the extensive training that would need to occur to staff this one department, as most volunteers don’t have the Fire Fighter II plus EMS training that is now required for paid fire fighters.

Don’t stop to think about all the time and energy each of these volunteers puts into their departments (their own time and sometimes their own money).

Don’t stop to think that at all hours of the day and night, whether working or not, these volunteers are ready whenever their pager goes off.

The amount of money they get from the Town of Johnsburg barely covers a truck payment and yearly expenses (fuel, phone, lights, etc.). Fund raising is a big part of their income — which, with the economy the way it is, is very difficult.

How about you all stop and think about the ramifications of closing all of the volunteer fire departments in the area before any final decisions are made, do some research, talk to the residents of each fire district, talk to the volunteer fire people about their dedication and committment to their community.

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