Equal protection for all

The Poppasquash area of Bristol is not the sparsely populated peninsula of your grandfather’s time.

Those with deep pockets have uncovered its shoreline beauty, constructing homes in excess of 5,000 square feet and worth millions of dollars.

Yet while most of us in Bristol enjoy year-round fire protection from one of the finest departments around, those on Poppasquash are largely unprotected. As happened a few years ago, a major fire that erupts in one of these homes cannot be controlled. Homes are likely to burn to the ground.

Granted, the onus is on the homeowner who decides to build a house where there are no water lines or fire hydrants. However, it is the town’s responsibility to ensure there is adequate fire protection for these homes — water lines or no. Are tanker trucks driven here from Warren, Tiverton or Rehoboth adequate?

Probably not.

It takes a long time for a Bristol fire engine to reach Poppasquash from right down the road. Add in the additional time it takes a neighboring department to respond, and you have a fully engulfed home fire.

Is this peninsula more densely populated than our fire department can independently handle? It’s a fair question for this town to consider as it maps its long-range plans. We understand that fire departments in the East Bay rely largely on mutual aid, but mutual aid is not sufficient for today’s Poppasquash.

As Bristol expands, so should its fire prevention methods. Simply relying on mutual aid is not a good plan. The town should consider a long-range capital improvement plan that includes its own tanker truck in the near future, and the training and equipment to properly use it.

All of Bristol’s citizens — even the “rich” ones — deserve the same level of service and security in this town.

4 Comments

  1. w said:

    Let me get this straight – Papoose-squaw, that’s the place where I can only drive down so far before I hit a gate telling me, the plebeian, that I’m welcome no further. Now they want me to pay?!? “To those who have been given much…”

  2. EastBayGuy said:

    It’a funny how you’d like these, “equal rights”. You know, equal rights should go both ways. Sure, you’d like equal fire protection that the rest of the town has, and that’s fair. You know what I’d like? I’d like the ability to run or ride a bike on any street in Bristol. You know, that’s the only street that I’m not allowed to go on. So it’s funny you want equal rights compared to the rest of the town, that is isolated from where you live. How about you equal yourselves to us. Separation from us reckless townsfolk comes at a cost….

  3. comn sense said:

    Ms O’Connor,

    Who plows the roads past those gates in the winter time? The residents pay because, after all, it’s a private gated community.

    If you need repairs to those private roads, does the town pay past the gates?

    There is granite ledge all throughout the area that would cost millions to trench for upgraded water service. When you take down the gate, then you may have a starting point for discussion.

  4. StillBroke said:

    I can’t believe the replies to this editorial. The writer is only asking that Bristol consider acquiring a tanker truck as part of it’s long range plan. No where does she say it could only be used in Poppasquash. It would be an asset to the TOWN of Bristol.
    Are you all so blinded by jealousy of the rich that you can’t see how an asset like a tanker truck would benefit everyone?

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