Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cohoes Council Candidates Call for Vliet Street Fire Station to be Open Full Time

COHOES – Multiple candidates running for the 5th Ward Common Council seat have said they want the Vliet Street Fire Station to be open full-time.
Those running in the 5th Ward include Sharon Gariepy, Paul Heroux, and Steve Napier- each who will be on the Democratic primary ballot on Thursday. Napier and Heroux have said they want the station open 24-hours, seven days a week. Heroux sent out a press release on the topic and Napier has put out multiple flyers on the subject.
Currently, the fire station is periodically closed whenever the Cohoes Fire Department falls below the minimum staffing levels of six firefighters per shift. The Vliet Street Fire Station was closed 160 days in 2014, according to Heroux and Napier.
“The city of Cohoes is seeing a growth of an additional 1,100 new dwelling units citywide, yet our emergency service is greatly reduced whenever the Vliet Street Fire Station is closed,” said Heroux. “With my 24 years of experience in the Cohoes Fire Department as a firefighter and deputy fire chief, I know that the critical time for any emergency is the first few minutes. For example, a fire doubles every minute without any type of suppression. A cardiac arrest needs immediate attention in order for there to be a successful outcome.”
The Vliet Street Fire Station covers all of the hill area of Cohoes, as well as downtown for fire calls. The fire engine stationed at Vliet Street is the first-due unit for all emergency and fire calls in the hill area, Heroux said in a press release.
“Whenever the Vliet Street Fire Station is closed, the emergency response fire engine on call is from the Central Fire Station located downtown, which necessitates a longer response time. If the Central Fire Station is on an emergency call, then the Island Fire Station responds which only increases the response time even more,” he said.
Napier added: "“When our fire house is closed, response times to the Fifth Ward are up to 8 minutes. I believe that is too long, and ensuring that our fire house is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year will be my first priority when I take office."
Heroux also petitioned to be on the Independence Line and Napier is slated to be on the Working Families line.

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