BY AL BARBER | HINESBURG FIRE CHIEF | DECEMBER 7, 2019
Budget season is upon us again, so it’s time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed as a department. What we have seen again this year is a steady increase in calls and the increase in EMS calls for service specifically. As I’ve said before, we are really an EMS department that does fire calls with nearly 80% of our calls now being EMS related. Unfortunately, we will for the next few years see sizable increases in our budget requests as we try to meet the needs that the community is requiring of us. For a number of years, we have been identifying future needs well in advance of when they would be needed, so that the town budget process could prepare for them. We will have impact fees to help lessen the impacts, but it will require increases in our budget to cover the costs.
A Couple of Reminders About Winter Time Emergencies
If you need our help please let us know if there are any specific things we should be aware of like slippery driveways, washouts along your driveway, slippery stairways, low hanging trees or anything else that you might be concerned about hindering us getting to you.
If we are responding for a carbon monoxide or fire alarm, please keep your doors and windows closed and exit the building. By keeping them closed it helps us pinpoint where the source of the alarm is coming from much quicker.
As always keep your chimneys clean and appliance venting cleared of snow and leaves. 911 Address signs are key to helping us find you. Contact us if you are in need of one.
There’s really nothing substantial to report on the ambulance front, the selectboard is still considering where we should head. The department feels that both fiscally and ethically the best direction to go is an ambulance in town operated by the fire department like the one in Williston. While it certainly will mean lots more work, it also means better, quicker service, more accountability; when you’re the one in need, an ambulance can’t get there quick enough.
We are always looking for volunteers that want to learn something new and be able to apply it to benefit the community, serving the community through the fire department is very rewarding and helpful to the whole community. As we look to the future, we also know we need to increase our EMS staffing to meet our current and future needs. Come join us any Wednesday night to see what it’s all about. We always welcome visitors to come see what we’re doing to serve the community too.