Twenty years ago the Town began a “Fire Station Improvements” program calling for a new station for northeast Greenwich, a new Central station, upgrades to all other stations, and a plan for a station in the northwest area. This program was completed—except for a northwest fire station. The idea that twenty years later this badly needed project remains a pipe dream is outrageous.
The largest part of the northwest corner is subsumed by RTM District 10 (D10). In 2018, with impetus from D10, the RTM overwhelmingly voted to support a professionally staffed northwest fire station by a vote of 126-55-3, concluding that the area “still has inadequate protection against fires and other emergencies ….” One year later, the plans to move forward with a northwest station were derailed by a decision to postpone the project pending the results of a town-wide study of fire services. Now two years later, the results of the fire study have not been made public and are being held under lock and key with the BET, the entity that ostensibly commissioned it. The message seems to be if you want to bury something, ask for a study.
What’s wrong with this picture? District 10 is one of the two largest districts in Greenwich geographically. An estimated 3500 residents live within D10 and daytime populations are estimated to be much higher. Residents in D10 own 2,496 properties—more than any other RTM district except one (District 8). The District is home to nursing homes, schools and commercial establishments, as well as adjacent to Westchester Airport, the Merritt Parkway and I-684. The properties have the highest combined property value of any district in Greenwich and pay 19.1% of the Town’s residential property taxes. Yet there is no professionally staffed fire station in the district. Trucks and firefighters must come from other districts to cover the area—leaving their own districts vulnerable.
It is unconscionable that the northwest corner of Greenwich continues to have a hole in fire coverage. Fire response times are way too long. Entire properties have been lost. The lack of coverage is (literally) playing with fire when it comes to loss of life.
D10 pays a larger share of Town taxes than other districts and those families, pets, and properties need the same level of protection as the rest of Town. Contact your elected officials and let them know that this is an intolerable situation that has been stonewalled for too long and needs to be corrected.