More in News
Byron to negotiate for fire service
BYRON -- The Town of Byron will now begin the process of negotiating with nearby town(s) for its fire protection.
That's because citizens voted unanimously at the special town meeting last Wednesday to dissolve their fire department. Their fire chief, Bob Susbury, resigned on Dec. 1.
The Board of Selectmen of Byron will now establish a timeline to meet with Mexico and/or Roxbury selectmen and fire department(s) to discuss contracting for fire service for the town, which has 120 residents.
Mexico Fire Chief Gary Wentzell, who has met several times with Byron selectmen about their fire service, recently explained during a meeting of Mexico selectmen about the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS) requirements for a fire department and said the training records indicate even though several corrections were made, there is no one who can go to a fire scene. "Two or three of them have the training to due traffic control, but that's about it."
Wentzell said volunteer firefighters are not paid in Byron. "They wonder why they have to go through the BLS requirements. A couple said they are not going through it."
He noted that at the present time, because Byron is not in compliance, the truck is not in use at this time.
"We will be going out on every call until this is resolved."
Wentzell said their is a proposal to contract with Mexico and/or Roxbury for 10 years. He said the cost will be zero in exchange for use of Byron's fire tanker truck, purchased new in 2005 from a grant from Department of Homeland Security. The cost without the truck would be between $5,000 and $7,000 per year.
Wentzell said the distance between the Mexico and Byron fire stations is 13.6 miles. The departure on a call would be almost immediate and normal driving would take about 17 minutes.
Over the last five years, Byron has averaged 12 calls a year. "There's an ATV corridor through there.
Half of those calls are ATV or snowmobile calls that we go to anyway with our rescue sled."