West Falmouth Fire Station Might Be Shut Down
By: Michael C. Bailey
The Falmouth Board of Selectmen will later this month hear a presentation on the West Falmouth Fire Station, and the impacts of shutting that station down.
Mark D. Sullivan, chief of the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department, said he is scheduled to appear before the selectmen on April 22 to discuss the proposal, although he stressed that at present, nothing is set in stone.
“It’s their final decision” whether to close the station, Chief Sullivan said, “and if they did anything, it would likely happen after July, after the start of the fiscal year.”
The station on West Falmouth Highway, near Blacksmith Shop Road, hosts one engine and one firefighter. Ambulance calls are covered either by the main station on Main Street or by the North Falmouth Fire Station on Wild Harbor Road.
Chief Sullivan said the basic plan would be to close down the West Falmouth station and reassign the firefighter to the Woods Hole station, giving that location two-person coverage. He plans to divulge details, such as the effect on response times, coverage strategies, cost savings, and future plans for the station, at the selectmen’s meeting.
The idea of closing the West Falmouth Station is a very bad plan.
West Falmouth Village Association
The chief has already discussed the basics of the proposal with the West Falmouth Village Association, and residents are already worried about the impact of losing the station.
“The idea of closing the West Falmouth Station is a very bad plan,” read a portion of a statement issued by the association to its members. The two-page statement focused mostly on the potential drawbacks of the plan, such as reduced response times for fire and medical emergencies.
“If there’s a call in North Falmouth and one in Falmouth, we will have nobody covering for us,” Maureen Harlow-Hawkes of Old Dock Road, West Falmouth, said, adding that she would be more comfortable with the move if the fire department were to follow through on a long-discussed plan to open a new, fifth fire station on Thomas B. Landers Road, closer to the Hatchville section of town.
“This would be okay,” the association statement read, noting that “the response time from the West Falmouth end of Thomas Landers Road would not greatly increase the time for help to arrive in the West Falmouth village.”
Chief Sullivan did not discuss the Hatchville station proposal, but said the issue was likely to come up during his presentation to the selectmen.
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