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Letter: CCFD Cuts, Privatization, Liquidation Should Never Happen

By Everett Trainer to CCFD Board President and Vice President

Good afternoon Mr. Gralinski and Ms. Baker, 

I am writing to you in regards to the current situation in the Town of Coventry. As you know, Central Coventry Fire has been the focus of your budget cuts and plans of liquidation and privatization. That should not ever happen. 

Private ambulance services in Rhode Island are merely transport services for profit. The underlying motivation for private ambulance companies is money. It's all about money and very little about public safety. These companies often hire young and inexperienced EMT's and pay them less just so the company can save money. The training is nowhere near as extensive as that of the fire service. Less training means there are more mistakes made and public safety is largely at risk. The mission of the Central Coventry Fire District is to provide life safety and property conservation through safe and effective services. That mission not only is very difficult for the firefighters to see through currently, but it will also not be seen through at all if privatization occurs. It is unwise to privatize. 

I know men on the Coventry Fire Department. They are motivated, driven, educated, and experienced. They want to help people. They want to ensure the safety of others. Not only are they tremendous at their jobs, but they go above and beyond the call of duty. They are incredibly nice people who will answer any question that is asked. If they do not know at that moment, they will go find out the answer. I was on scene with them at the 2nd alarm fire on Shady Valley Road. It was -2 degrees out, with snow on the ground, and these guys were working their hardest to combat the elements and the fire with limited personnel and low quality equipment. I watched a firefighter attempt to start a saw, but it wouldn't work. These guys need to have proper equipment to be able to do their jobs! This isn't the only Code Red in Coventry either. There have been thirty-nine working fires since you have been elected back in July. Twenty of which have been since you voted to liquidate and close the stations. That number alone demonstrates to not only you, but to everybody, that this town needs adequate fire protection. If you keep this up, lives will be lost. It's not a matter of if it happens; it's a matter of when it will happen. 

Furthermore, they have stated that they will work with you on the budget. 

Three out of five fire stations have closed which increased response times in certain areas. The Central Coventry Fire District serves twenty-six square miles containing about 25,000 people. How do you expect this to be efficient? Personnel levels have already dropped and now three strategic locations are closed. On top of that, the call volume is rising! 

Tower Ladder 3, the only tower in the town, was sent back. A tower ladder is essential to the fire department. It had a length of 100 feet and had the ability to flow 2000 gallons of water per minute which is very beneficial at fire scenes that require defensive operations. It also has the ability to rescue four people from a building at one time! The Central Coventry District is home to all but one of the high-rise buildings, mills, nursing homes, and senior/assisted living centers in the town. Your next closest tower ladders are West Warwick Ladder 1, Warwick Ladder 1, and Cranston Ladder 2! Do you really want to have to wait for them to get to the scene?! Granted they are even available. 

I hope you both realize the real problems that you have caused and I hope that you find reasonable and safe solutions. Do not close stations or put apparatus out of service. Do not privatize the fire department. Look at the facts. Think of your firefighters. More importantly, think of your citizens.  

Sincerely,
Everett Trainer

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RS January 30, 2014 at 03:18 PM
Bill, I think you aren't giving the board enough credit. They have actually done a superb job. If you recall waaaay back when they were running for election, it was stated here that they had no interest in solving any problems or negotiating with the Union. It was stated here by myself and others that they fully intended to liquidate the District and privatize the EMS. They have done exactly what they were elected to do. You can't find may elected officials that actually do what they intend to do while campaigning. I say job well done to the BOD!!!!!
Randy January 30, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Like I said Realistic, you're just here playing games. If you read the 20 year comment that you mentioned then you could have read the other comments and you'd have an clue.
Realistic Taxpayer January 30, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Mr. Randy, ONCE AGAIN, I can only read SOME of your comments on the "keyboard cowboy" article for whatever reason. Can you PLEASE re-state them so I can make an informed, educated decision on the problems that face our district. If you care not to then so be it. My two year old games vs. your " 20 year insider" knowledge must account for something no? Is it perhaps you offered no "ideas" or solutions to the problems? I have not once called you names or made any childish references your way, now have I?
harleyrider8272 January 30, 2014 at 06:46 PM
Dingdong the witch is dead!! Stern threw some water on Morgan and she screamed " I'm melting, I'm melting" and all that was left was the smell of red herring!! LOL

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