Opinion: Should three become one?

May 8, 2022

To the editor:

In a recent edition, the budgets of the three fire districts of Dartmouth were published.  I also received a letter from my district (two) asking if I would like to have an additional service. Now, Fire Districts have a long and honorable history in several states and in rural Dartmouth, their locations made sense.

Now we are in the 21st century. We have modern roads, radio communications, fire hydrants but we still have lots of fires. We need trained fire fighters to answer the call. The volunteer firemen have been answering the call for two centuries and hopefully they will be there for the next century as well.

Each of these districts have high administrative costs. If the three districts were merged into one Dartmouth Fire District, could not the saved administrative costs be used for better equipment for the individual fire fighters as well as training, insurance etc.?

Now, as a retired Professor of Government, local fire districts are like "Sacred Cows.”  Some years ago, the state of New York tried to go from small districts to regional ones, showing the savings as well as the better coverage by realigning the equipment.  Local opposition quickly killed the plan before it got off the planning board. Hopefully here, we can at least discuss it.

Patrick J. T Curran Ph.D.,