To the editor:
Last year and the year before and the year before that, the people of Tiverton declined the purchase of a ladder truck. The fire department currently relies on other communities when one is needed. “Mutual aid,” where we share with other communities, has been working to keep costs down. When surrounding communities have a fire our trucks go to help. In return, when we need them they come to help us. This is how communities around the country operate.
Fire trucks can cost as much as a million dollars. That is why communities around the country share. Our towns are so small the whole state would fit in one county, when compared to other states. It’s my opinion that we don’t need a ladder truck every 14 miles. We don’t need specialty teams every 14 miles.
Our elected officials should be working toward a plan for a regional fire district. Each town has specific equipment and we work together to keep costs down. This works for counties in other states so why not here? Working to keep costs down for equipment purchases will ensure that we have funding for the multitude of tools and small equipment needed — tools needed to keep the firefighters and public safe on the job.
Sitting on the Budget Committee, I’ve seen the list of needed tools and equipment. It was two pages long and many items have been on the list for years. We can’t afford what we have now so why add more cost?
I will be pushing for a regional plan that keeps fire service at the high level it is now and keeps costs down. I hope people will support this plan and let the council know. Regional fire districts work and save taxpayers dollars.