At long last, Round Hill and northwest Greenwich may be closer to having a fully staffed fire station. At a public hearing in January, the Board of Estimate and Taxation considered the 145-page report from the Town-Wide Fire Study it commissioned by Matrix Consulting Group. The Matrix Group found what residents here have been saying for years: First response times are significantly slower in here than in other parts of Greenwich. The problems are distance and lack of full-time staff.
The Matrix report recommends adding a career staffed engine company to the Round Hill Station and adding another fire station in the northwest part of town.
The BET’s virtual hearing on January 28 was well-attended, and no one disputed the need. The Round Hill fire station on Old Mill Road is the only fire station in Greenwich staffed solely by volunteers, who understandably are not on-site full-time. First responses from Glenville, the nearest career station, often exceed 10 minutes. Speakers from all over town supported a new northwest fire station with career firefighters. RHA President John Conte wrote that the Board of the Round Hill Association supports the Matrix Report recommendation to add a career staffed engine company to the Round Hill Station and to add another fire station in the northwest part of town.
The Town and the volunteer company have plans to renovate the Round Hill Station, which was built in 1948. The Town has a $1million dollar budget for the project, and the RHVFC is raising private funds to match it. Several speakers urged the BET to put funds now in next year’s budget, but were assured that we must wait for a request from the new Fire Chief, Joseph McHugh.
Chief McHugh grew up in Greenwich, volunteered with the Sound Beach Fire Station, and spent 29 years with the New York City Fire Department. We trust that his experience, with the full support of the Greenwich Fire Department and respect of Town leaders, will enable him to achieve the higher level of fire safety we have waited for so patiently.