Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
The trustees of the Village of Port Washington North approved the proposed contract from the Port Washington Fire Department for service during the calendar year 2012. Historically the presentation of the new contract has occurred during the December meeting. However, in December the department asked that the public hearing for the contract be postponed and re-scheduled for January.
During the public hearing, the trustees asked several questions regarding service and costs. Representatives of the fire district responded that service levels remain the same and the cost increase to the village is .095 per cent. The actual cost for the contracted services for 2012 is $368,368.
When asked if call levels have increased, representatives of the department noted increased EMS calls as a result of the senior communities in town. Furthermore, preliminary estimates of calls for 2011 suggest that the department responded to 318 calls in Port Washington North. In total there were 3,200 for all of Port Washington. This represents the busiest year ever for the department, with the ten-day period during Hurricane Irene the busiest time in their history, logging 271 calls in 10 days. That averages out to one call every 53 minutes.
The Port Washington Fire District is the largest volunteer fire district in New York State. The district contracts with the Town of North Hempstead along with the individual incorporated villages to provide primary fire and emergency medical services. Within the Port Washington Fire Department there are three separate chiefs each responsible for a different facet of fire or EMS operation. Each company has its own officers, and operates independently of each other with regard to matters of business. An administrative board of directors comprised of delegates from each of the four companies along with the three chiefs is ultimately responsible for the fiscal affairs of the Port Washington Fire Department, Inc.
The village trustees thanked the representatives for their continued efforts to keep the Port Washington community safe and commended them for a job well done!