As the chief officers of the Castleton Volunteer Fire Department, we feel it is time to voice our opinion concerning the proposed new town office project. We support the Select Board’s decision to include site work and utilities for a new firehouse along with the construction of new town offices. We would also like to thank the community which has always given us tremendous support. The existing firehouse has served the town well over the years, but it is sorely inadequate to house a fire department for the second largest town in Rutland County.
We understand the need for frugality in these times and why the construction of a new firehouse is not included. We will impatiently wait for the firehouse to proceed after the office construction is under way.
Our department is located at 37 Elm St., a small side street in the village area. Approximately 90 percent of the calls we respond to are toward the four corners area, 1.8 miles from our current fire station. A new facility at this location would decrease our response time for 80 percent of these calls by four to six minutes. This is a crucial factor since a fire can double in intensity every one to two minutes. The visibility pulling on to Main Street is very poor, and combined with the foot traffic from the college and Village School, it can be a dangerous situation. The new location would provide for increased sight distance and safety.
We believe that this proposed location on Route 30 north will greatly enhance awareness in the community about our town’s fire and emergency services. Right now we are tucked away on a side street — out of sight and out of mind. We look with pride toward the future, realizing that a new and modern facility will significantly improve our ability to protect the lives and property of the people of Castleton.
The writers are fire chief, first assistant chief and second assistant chief, respectively.MORE IN Letters
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