Hearing to discuss possibility of closing firehouse - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hearing to discuss possibility of closing firehouse

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of closing down Engine 3 in the city.

Firefighters said they are worried about public safety issue and the possibility of increased response time.

However, Meriden officials said the city would save upwards of $900,000 per year by closing the firehouse.

According to firefighters from Engine 3, they handled more than 2,200 calls last year. Last year, firefighters went out on more 3,100 calls at Engine 2 and Engine 4 saw more than 1,550 calls.

The national response time is within four minutes and Meriden's response is between two and four minutes.

"Within that 6-8 minute range, you can have what would've been a stove fire turn into you losing your entire house," said Meriden Fire Lt. Brendan Noonan.

City officials said there could be some impact on response times, but this would allow the city to plan for the future.

Engine three, on Broad Street, escaped the chopping block back in 2009, but the engine that's responsible for serving uptown and southeastern areas of the city is being targeted by Meriden officials once again.

Meriden City Manager Lawrence Kendzior previously told Eyewitness News this closure is needed in order to cut costs so residents don't get slapped with a tax increase.

In the proposal, firefighters would be re-assigned.

There are six firehouses in Meriden with one being volunteer. City leaders said Meriden has twice as many firehouses than the other surrounding communities.

The hearing, which is expected to be widely attended, will be held at the Lincoln Middle School at 5:30 p.m.

"I see where my money is going. I see guys out there working, they're out there saving potential victims and ensuring safety," said Bill Coitrone of Meriden. "That's something that's definitely important."

Following the public hearing, the city's finance committee will take a vote on the proposal on April 30.

And if it is approved, the City Council will vote on the proposal on May 6.

The Meriden Fire Department has more information on its Facebook page, click the following link.

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