To the editor:
Does Tiverton really need a ladder truck for our fire department?
We have all heard the claim we need this million dollar piece of equipment for public safety. Sitting on the Budget Committee, I have listened to the testimony several times. Still, I am not convinced we need to buy one. I agree it is a handy piece of equipment and there are fires where one is needed. We currently receive help from other towns like Portsmouth and Fall River because of the mutual aid agreement .
Why I don’t agree we need to buy this truck: Mutual aid was designed so that every town doesn’t have to have every piece of equipment. The way I see it, each town in a coordinated effort has special equipment to aid where needed. We don’t need a ladder truck every 15 miles. We don’t need a hazmat team every 15 miles. We do need to work with other communities in a coordinated effor . Duplication is wasteful and we don’t have it to waste. So we should be working with other cities and towns in the area to ensure all bases are covered.
With half of our town not having fire hydrants we have purchased tanker trucks. When other towns call for help we send our public safety personnel and equipment. In return they do the same. We need to work toward regional fire districts with a cost efficient plan where each community is safe and taxes are not overly burdensome .
A regional fire district like I’ve seen in other states is a goal that needs to be realized here. Our town can do better with a coordinated effort.