A 194-page study analyzed Norwich, Connecticut's 49 pieces of apparatus at two paid fire stations and five volunteer companies, including firetrucks, other vehicles, boats, and trailers. - Photo: Pixabay

A 194-page study analyzed Norwich, Connecticut's 49 pieces of apparatus at two paid fire stations and five volunteer companies, including firetrucks, other vehicles, boats, and trailers.

Photo: Pixabay

A comprehensive study conducted by McGrath Consulting Group of Norwich, Connecticut's fire services analyzed 49 pieces of fire apparatus at two paid fire stations and five volunteer companies and suggested equipment reductions as well as more integrated training.

The full report lists three Norwich fire apparatus that could be removed from service immediately and not replaced, and another five vehicles that could be retired or sold in a few years. Some vehicles could be transferred from one Norwich department to another. The report stated, "[There is an] overabundance of fire apparatus and a significant cost to taxpayers to operate and maintain a fleet of vehicles this large."

The Day provided the following comparison:

  • Norwich has 28 square miles and a population of about 40,000 with 49 apparatus.
  • One career system in California covers 49 square miles and 122,000 people with 34 apparatus.
  • A combined career and volunteer system in Illinois covers 240 square miles and 7,500 residents with 22 apparatus.
  • A career system in Kentucky covers 21 square miles and 25,000 people with 17 apparatus.

The consultants also recommended replacing one fire engine at the central city station with a smaller emergency response vehicle for improved service. The department currently staffs two engine trucks on calls.

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