Posted at: 11/12/2012 12:21 AM
By: Dan Bazile
_COLONIE - The sign in front of the West Albany Fire District Station 2 on Osborn Road in Colonie makes a plea to the community to save the station. Some of the members who belong here are also going door to door with that message, trying to build enough signatures in their favor.
James Mitchell of the West Albany Fire District tells us, “If I lived right here, I’d want a fire truck right across the street from my house. I’d feel more secure.”
But fire commissioners have decided to close down station two and move all operations into station one about a mile away on sand creek road.
But, Chief Dan Sullivan of the West Albany Fire District Station 1 says there is “no need for two fire departments within a 1.9 mile fire district.”
But more importantly, Chief Sullivan says, consolidating the two fire stations will streamline response time, which is already being done, save money and improve the entire fire district that serves about six thousand residents in 1.9 square miles. West Albany Fire District owns the fire trucks. They pay rent to station one and station two to house the equipment.
Chief Sullivan explains, “We're talking immediately we're going to put $67,000 in the bank. We can downsize and engine company. Standard company is now half a million dollars.”
Chief Sullivan says out of 53 members, only a handful from Station 2 disagree with the move. Many of the firefighters we spoke to feel it will make the district better.
Firefighter Tim Mosher tells us, “There’s no reason to have people spread out all over the place, especially when 90 percent come from right here anyway.”
Chief Sullivan says the real opposition is that some members want to retain the place as a social club more than a firehouse. But the president of Station 2 says it's really more about the safety of taxpayers.