Burning Question Of The Week: Does Groton’s Fire District System Need An Overhaul?

A vote by the Poquonnock Bridge Fire District could mean change.

Residents of the Poquonnock Bridge Fire District, a decision that could mean changes in the tax rate and the fire district itself.

Board Member Nancy Beckwith said taxes are driving this issue.

 “The mill rate here is the highest in the town," she said. "It’s becoming very difficult to control because of the salaries.”

Groton that provide fire protection to the residents of the districts, and the taxes of each vary.

Poquonnock Bridge, a career fire department, charges a tax rate of 5.9 mills to residents, the highest rate of the nine.

Newly-Elected Board Member Alan Ackley said this discrepancy should not continue. There’s also been talk of having the town take over fire services for Poquonnock Bridge.

But the independent fire districts have to agree to this first and ask for it. The town does not have authority to step in to Poquonnock Bridge or any other fire district and do this without their consent.

What do you think?  

Should the fire district system be changed or left alone?

Oh Yeah...... August 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Workers get sick. Family vacations are planned months in advance. Injuries happen, especially on a physical job like firefighting, sometimes causing extended absence. The kids have a school or sport event that you should attend. A family member needs help. There are many reasons to need time off from a job, any job. Firefighters earn their time off just like everyone else. As far as the city, I have no inside info, but the paper states they do not plan to hire. Raising the minimum staffing requirements will result in more overtime pay when FF are out, but paying overtime is still cheaper than training and benefits for new hires. True in any job.
Anita Bath August 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM
@Richard. If ou dont know the answer then how can you swy its time management. Someone is feeding you information and you have no clue what is really going on
Richard T. Froh August 13, 2012 at 02:13 PM
I wonder what it would take for the political leadership in the Town of Groton to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the cost to each taxpayer to support a Town municipal Fire Department? The other option seems to be to put people's lives and property at risk until that day when the wake-up call comes in the form of deaths, serious injuries, or great loss of property that is attributable to inadequate staffing or equipment. Taxpayers are understandably more willing to play the odds and take the risk than are those who respond to the emergencies. A very savvy and dedicated career firefignter and fire officer who is (very sadly) no longer among us once opined to me that it takes a death to force needed change in the Fire Service. But waiting for such tragedy and then reacting with "I-told-you-so's" isn't the best solution, just as being forced into a band-aid measure by dissolution of PBFD wouldn't be the best solution. One caution: If the TOG does undertake such a pro-active study of emergency services delivery, all parties need to be prepared for other recommendations besides straight consolidation under a single organizational entity. One shouldn't pick the solution before all the facts are presented.
Really... August 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM
let the Groton City FD do the job in the city..Let Mystic take care of Mystic..And PBFD take care of their own response area. We do not need to make 1 Groton Fire Department and if the town needs a truck, for God's sake buy one.
John Blutarsky September 09, 2012 at 03:30 AM


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