Falmouth Residents Give Thoughts to Selectmen Regarding Fire Department

FALMOUTH-Residents of Falmouth attended a recent meeting with town selectmen to give their thoughts on topics regarding the Falmouth Fire Department.

A major point of contention remains the scheduled closure of the West Falmouth Fire Station. If it is to continue as proposed, the single man station would cease operations in July.

A public forum was held last month, where retired State Fire Marshall and Falmouth resident Steve Coan critiqued the decision to close the station.

At the most recent meeting, West Falmouth resident and retired firefighter and paramedic Alden Cook also voiced his concerns. While Fire Chief Michael Small claimed that the station responds to around 5% of calls, Cook said that they dispatch out on a greater amount of emergencies as secondary responders throughout the town.

This, Cook argued, proves the closure would lead to delays in response times and would put a greater number of people in danger.

“So, who cares? Apparently, no one in the town government,” Cook said.

“Once the station closes, no one except the residents of West Falmouth will notice.”

Another topic brought up was the current staffing model within the department.

Town resident Kevin Mulvey said that any changes to the department should be delayed until a new 10 year staffing model is created. The model should be changed, in his opinion, to consider factors such as the amount of calls into the station, personal and sick time, and overtime shifts.

Mulvey explained that he was experienced in staffing security personnel within emergency rooms, thus giving him an understanding of how busy certain times of the year can be.

“It is inconceivable that the Falmouth Fire Department is staffed on a flat line when the population explodes during peak season,” Mulvey said.

Two additional firefighters could be hired without leading to an additional burden to the budget, according to Mulvey. These two firefighters could account for 4,000 overtime hours. However, he explained that the addition of eight additional firefighters with the passing of Proposition 2½ would not make a major impact to improve services.

Issues regarding the Falmouth Fire Department will be included in the warrant for April’s town meeting.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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