West Falmouth Village Association
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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. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

FALMOUTH BOARD OF SELECTMEN'S
MEETING 10.28.19
Agenda Item #12 
Selectment discussed plans to create a "Citizens Advisory Committee" for Future Fire Station Locations.
Contact Your Town Meeting Members
 Let your TM Members know how you feel about the proposed closure of the West Falmouth Fire Station and how you would like them to vote on Article 9. 


Contact WFVA

West Falmouth Fire Station
Closure Announced 
 
In a public meeting on October 17, 2019,  
residents gathered at West Falmouth Library to hear the results of a Town-sponsored study  
on the proposed location for a proposed  
Combined North-West Fire Station.
Attendees were surprised to learn that the  
West Falmouth Fire Station would be closed permanently  on July 1, 2020.
 
Read the news  here:  
COMMUNITY ACTION:  
Saving the W.F. Fire Station and Ensuring Rapid Emergency Response Times in West Falmouth ...and ALL of Falmouth.  
 
"Citizens for Rapid Response" (CR2) A small group of West Falmouth residents including members of WFVA Board, former Fire-Fighter & EMTs, and Town Meeting & Town Board members are working on a plan to prevent the impending closure of West Falmouth Fire Station until such time that a new Fire Station serving the area is built.
 
IMMEDIATE ACTION PLANNED:
  • Amend Town Meeting Article 9 *Pending review/approval by TM Moderator*
  • Contact Town Meeting Members and urge them to support rapid emergency response times in all parts of Falmouth. 
PROPOSED AMENDMENT to
Town Meeting Article 9   
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019  
"Acquire Option to Purchase Parcel of Land for a New Northwest Fire Station" 
 
ARTICLE 9: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire an Option to Purchase a parcel of land in the northwest section of the Town suitable for the construction of a new Northwest Fire Station, add an additional 4 firefighter positions to provide adequate coverage for the town's 5 fire stations,to appropriate a sum of money for this purpose, to determine how the same shall be raised and by whom expended. Or do or take any other action on the matter. On request of the Board of Selectmen.
 
RECOMMENDATION (Finance Committee):
That the Town vote to transfer $400,000  from Certified Free Cash for the purposes of this Article. To be expended under the jurisdiction of the Town Manager. 
 
EXPLANATION: The Town has engaged a consultant to identify the general locations that would best serve both West Falmouth and North Falmouth. Prior to this Town Meeting, we will have held a community meeting to present preliminary findings and solicit community input. We anticipate completing the location study in the coming months and will then be prepared to identify specific parcels of land that might be purchased for construction of a new station. This article would provide funds for an option to purchase which essentially reserves the property for a potential future sale subject to negotiation of final terms. This article is intended to accelerate the land acquisition process but a second Town Meeting vote would be required to appropriate funds for a specific parcel of land before the Town is able to finalize any purchase of property.
Funding will ensure that all 5 stations will remain open until a new station is built to replace the aging structures in the Northwest segment of Falmouth. The four firefighter positions will be incorporated into future annual town budgets.