Concerns over future fire protection in Central Coventry

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

It was snowing heavily outside the Central Coventry fire headquarters, but an even bigger storm is coming.

The station will be closed, the fire trucks and rescues to be sold off, and nearly 50 firefighters laid-off.

“Concern now is where do we go from here? You know how do we move forward as far as families and what not. Our guys are highly trained. They are highly marketable,” said Captain David Gorman of the Central Coventry Fire Department.

People are worried. Eddie Iannotti was shoveling out his business, wondering if neighboring fire departments will respond if he calls 911.

“Some of them are quite a distance from some of the people and I'm just wondering how it's going to affect service, especially to the elderly and so on,” said Iannotti..

Central Coventry has already closed 3 fire houses; and the final 2 shut down May 16th.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “This is no small fire district by any stretch. It's 25 square miles, 18 thousand people and a lot of homes and businesses.”

Three other fire districts serve Coventry but there is no guarantee, they will now cover Central Coventry's turf.

“Well we hesitate to call it a plan. We have met with the other fire districts the town has and we are discussing just what possibilities exist and we'll probably be meeting over the next several days,” said Coventry Town Manager Tom Hoover.

Fire Captain Gorman said, “Clearly, even today, there's no plan in place. It's been a grave concern of mine.”

Buried in financial problems, the fire department went into receivership 16 months ago.