Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do we need full-time fire-fighters? Can’t volunteers do the job?
A. Volunteers provide support throughout town but they are unable to commit to shifts and thus are not available 24/7. Additionally, they come from their homes or jobs, so they take longer to respond. Paid firefighters are in the stations and on duty at all times. The vast Northwest area is the ONLY part of Greenwich that has no dedicated professionals.
Q. Why is Round Hill only a partial solution?
A. The property is small (only .7 acre) and has poor road access to other parts of northwest Greenwich. The location is not ideal for improved response time to the King Street area. Matrix found other issues with this location but did recommend expanding the building and housing professionals there for now.
Q. Don’t schools and nursing homes have sprinkler systems?
A. Yes, but fires often start in areas without sprinklers and then spread to inhabited spaces. Children and bedbound patients must be evacuated in short order.
Q. Is it true that no one has died in a fire in northwest Greenwich?
A. Luckily, fire fatalities are Greenwich are rare (two in the last 12 years, neither in northwest Greenwich). Yet past experience does not indicate future events. Northwest Greenwich is growing and has more structures and more people than ever before. It needs the same fire protection as other parts of town. Our goal is to prevent loss of life everywhere.
Q. What are the other types of calls, and how does this compare town-wide?
A. The Northwest station would have call types and volume similar to the North Street station. North Street had 953 incidents last year: alarms, fires, rescues, motor vehicle accidents, Haz Mat, Carbon Monoxide, animal rescue, weather related, and general service calls.
Q. What will be the total cost of renovating the Round Hill Station to include professional staff? What would the costs be if a new station is built and staffed?
A. Costs for renovating the Round Hill Station are estimated to be $5.08 million and acquisition and construction for a new station at a new location were estimated to be about $8 million four years ago. We have no new estimates. After construction, the annual costs would be similar to those in all other stations except Central.
Q. Would a new Northwest engine company benefit residents and stations in other parts of town?
A. Yes, in two ways.
- Everyone in northwest Greenwich – Brunswick and Sacred Heart students and teachers, patients and caregivers at three nursing homes, office workers, and members of five churches, two country clubs, and the public golf course – all would be safer.
- The people in neighboring areas wouldn’t lose coverage when their stations respond to northwest Greenwich. Instead, the new engine company could help them in emergencies.
Q. What if we don’t build add professionals and/or a new station for northwest Greenwich?
A. All the people and properties will still be at greater risk than anywhere else in Greenwich.