After more than a century of service the Fonda Volunteer Fire Department will soon shut down after the village board last week voted 4-1 to dissolve the department.
Volunteer fire departments are an integral part of communities. In addition to being first responders in the event of disaster, in many areas they sponsor family events and provide space for people to hold special occasions. Volunteer fire departments offer communities a gathering place and a sense of camaraderie.
But unfortunately in Fonda there appears no longer to be enough interest to resuscitate the department.
The village is expecting to save roughly $22,000 by contracting with the Mohawk Fire Department instead of spending about $43,000 operating its own department.
We hope the current members of Fonda will opt to join whatever department they can and continue to serve.
We still have some concerns about dissolving the Fonda department. Fonda is home to county buildings, housing important documents and other items. Fonda is home to manufacturing businesses, and it sees heavy traffic on Route 5. Everyone remembers the recent flooding there, too, and first responders are very important in these situations.
We're hoping there might be a cost-effective way for the Mohawk Fire Department to keep the Fonda location open as a substation and keep some of the equipment close to the businesses and government buildings.
According to the contract for fire protection services, the village would come under the Mohawk department's protection from March 14 to March 13, 2015.
The contract states the Mohawk Fire District will "use sound fire protection practices and principals to determine the need of a Fonda station." We trust these trained volunteers to make the right decisions.