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Comments Posted By CuriousReader

Displaying 1 To 6 Of 6 Comments

City Council Votes to Build New Fire Station at W.C. Whaley Property —– “Top Headline of 2011”

@ Live Within Our Means – The current headquarters lacks space. It can not be renovated to add more space — especially on the ground floor where the apparatus are stored. Yes, there are families who live in houses older than the fire station. But many of those houses actually have more space than the fire station.

@ Curious – If you put the Central Fire Station’s fire trucks south of the railroad, you now have put all of the staffed apparatus on one side of the railroad. An incident north of the tracks would have no front-line fire engines respond. The crew at central would have to drive out east and pick up the old and practically antique fire engine from the unstaffed 3rd station to respond.

People want the fire department to show up in seconds. They do a fine job to respond within minutes. I don’t understand how some folks suggest that response delays are not that big of a deal.

» Posted By CuriousReader On July 14, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

Curious, are you suggesting that the fire engines be across a railroad track (Harvey Thommason property) from where the offices & living quarters are? Because that would create an awkward situation when a fire or wreck occurs while the one rare train comes into town and parks on that stretch of track. Also, that would put both station’s engines south of the railroad. Ideally, fire engines would be staffed and located north and south.

As for the elevator, I don’t know that it would be required. I just know that several “coffee shop lawyers” have suggested that it would be. Lord knows that’s enough to scare some elected officials off. The people we vote into office aren’t big fans of researching anything themselves. Regardless, there simply isn’t sufficient square footage in the current building — renovation or not.

» Posted By CuriousReader On July 11, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

One more thing regarding the noise… I would imagine that the Monticello Ambulance Service actually makes more runs than the fire department. Their station is in a partially residential part of town and has been for many years without incident or significant complaint.

» Posted By CuriousReader On July 11, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

@Progressive- The city council cannot pass a “lights only” ordinance for emergency vehicles. By state law, for a fire engine (or police car, ambulance, etc.) to be considered an “emergency vehicle,” it must operate with lights AND a continuously audible siren, bell or whistle.

I would bet several dollars that many police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel already respond without a siren to middle-of-the-night calls out of courteousness and because it’s not always needed. However, they do this at a legal risk to themselves should the be involved in an accident.

The people who complain about noise from the fire station have not researched this matter at all. Monticello’s fire stations are much quieter than one would initially suspect. They are not like big city fire stations that run thousands of calls a year.

» Posted By CuriousReader On July 11, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

The deterioration of the fire station is like the deterioration of anything — it doesn’t happen overnight. “JUST WONDERING” is probably right that it didn’t completely occur under the watch of Jack Carson, but he hasn’t been fire chief in nearly 25 years! If you notice, the building is held together with screws. They are visible at the top corner. Those have been in place for decades.

Right or wrong, people view firefighters differently since 9-11. For years before that, many people viewed the fire department in Monticello and many other towns as just another city department. In Monticello, it was neglected for some time. The MFD went 13 years (1983-1996) without a new pumper while ones they had got older and harder to maintain.

Some city leaders have been hesitant to remodel the current headquarters station because of the possible need to build an elevator to the second floor to meet ADA requirements. Even if the second floor was remodeled, the driving force of this project should be the simple lack of square footage.

When the current station was built in the 1930s, fire engines were tiny compared to today’s versions. (They keep an antique at Station 2. Stop by and compare for yourself.) The modern pumpers barely fit inside Station 1 with room to walk around them. With more trucks and bigger trucks, it only makes sense that the fire department needs a new headquarters after 70+ years in this one.

However, since it will likely be another 70 years before the facilities are upgraded again, the city leaders need to make sure they’re doing what’s best for the city and it’s future growth — not just what’s easiest and cheapest for the current situation.

» Posted By CuriousReader On July 11, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

DUB, you are correct if the city in question only has one fire station.

The Monticello Fire Department is unique in that it not only covers the city, but many unincorporated areas up to five miles beyond the city limits — and practically the whole county for wrecks with people trapped.

A town the size of Pine Bluff, for instance, has seven fire stations to cover approx. 45 square miles. Monticello firefighters cover at least that much area with only two. Perhaps three de-centralized fire stations would be best to cover the city and areas immediately surrounding it.

» Posted By CuriousReader On July 9, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

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