Letter from West Falmouth Residents
Jay Austin and Paul Sellers:
A number of us are concerned with the implications of Article 9 in the upcoming town meeting and the impact it would have on EMS coverage in Falmouth. While the article addresses the need to identify and propose a new fire station to replace the aging West and North Falmouth locations, the Chief has used this opportunity to announce the closing of the West Falmouth Station in July 2020, three to five years before a new facility can be built to properly serve the northwest section of town. This premature closure is leaving residents exposed and dramatically increases EMS response times.
When an alarm is sounded in Falmouth, it is not just the local station that responds, but also the adjacent stations. Because of this procedure, the West Falmouth Fire Station is one of the most active of the five stations in town, responding to calls in every district. Without an active station in West Falmouth, North Falmouth would then respond to those calls in the other parts of town, leaving the entire northwest section of town exposed in the event of additional calls.
When you think about heart attacks, strokes, overdoses and drowning, time is of the essence. Timely response can save lives. All lives in Falmouth are valuable; districts should not be pitted against one another. To close a station without a plan or replacement is a dereliction of duty. Public safety should be at the top of the pyramid without regard to cost. As the demographics throughout Falmouth shift to an older more mature population having dependable reliable emergency response time only gets more important and valuable for everyone. Dealing with certainty is always better than facing uncertainty.
The Chief's decision is not in the interest of public safety, but rather based on personnel considerations. Therefore, we would like to propose an amendment to Article 9 that would add funding for four additional firefighters, enabling adequate coverage at all five stations. We would also direct the Board of Selectmen to incorporate into the 2021 - 2022 budget these additional positions. This is within the scope of the article as it directly addresses the concerns that the Chief and the consultants presented at the community meeting outlined in the explanation of the article.
We would appreciate it if you could review this amendment and consider supporting it on the floor of Town Meeting. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Please read the proposed amendment. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>