SARDINIA—Chaffee-Sardinia Fire Chief Ron Kenyon pleaded with the Sardinia Board to remain with the Springville Control Center at its March 8 meeting. Along with roughly 30 members of his department, Kenyon voiced his concerns with changing dispatchers.
“Springville Control works really well. We have been partners forever, we helped it grow,” he said. “It’s very small — only three other fire companies and Mercy Ambulance. That allows them to focus on the call at hand.”
Since October, the Sardinia Town Board has discussed the rising costs of using Springville Control as its fire dispatch service. According to Town Clerk Jen Bray, the annual rate now stands at $37,805 and is expected to rise to $38,399 in 2019. Board members agreed to take a look at other choices, particularly East Aurora Fire Control, whose one-year fee is just $15,968.
“Please don’t change it,” Kenyon said several times, saying that he isn’t negative toward East Aurora, he just doesn’t think the switch is right for Chaffee-Sardinia.
Kenyon said EA often has multiple calls, because they are much bigger and busier.
“[Springville] also know us personally,” he said. “It’s our system, we use it to communicate freely, and are not limited on messages.,They also keep track of our calls and our ambulance mileage – that helps us with liability. That is so big for us, and EA won’t do that.”
He also pointed out there are problem areas with radios, but Springville has worked that out. The area on Route 39 along the creek is worst, but he was in the basement of a house there once on a fire call, and was able to talk clearly to Springville Dispatch. “Why change what we know works?” he asked. “If something happens and one of our members is in harm’s way, that is the same system they will use to get us help. We can’t chance going backward. The paging system works well, too.”
If a change is made, he said, the Chaffee-Sardinia Fire Company gains nothing. Pointing to members of the department, Kenyon said those are the people who are at risk of being affected.
“Please don’t do it,” Kenyon repeated. “The risk is too great and the rewards are too little.”
The board tabled the decision until the next meeting.
While the town board has recently rescinded the public comment period, Supervisor Beverly Gambino said there are circumstances where this privilege is a good thing and will be allowed.
“We talked about having taken away the public comment,” she said. “We agreed if someone is interested and has real town business — something the town has jurisdiction over — you can contact me or a councilman and be put on the agenda.”
Also at the meeting, board members:
– Learned the NYSEG energy audit at the Town Barn was successful, and some new streetlights have already been installed on Savage Road. The new lighting is set to save the Town more than $45,000 in five years’ time.
– Heard a Shredder Event on May 5 will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Residents can bring whatever documents they’d like shredded to the Community Center and there will be no charge. Out of towners may take advantage of the service as well, but will be charged a fee of $10 per bag and $20 per banker’s box.
– Listened to Gambino detail some of the ideas kicked around at a recent work session geared to continue making improvements to the Community Center and take advantage of Community Development Block Grants.