An Open Letter to Fred Camillo about the NorthWest Fire Station

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I read your article about the NorthWest Greenwich fire station (Camillo: Future of Round Hill Fire Station Feb 27, 2021)) with great interest. I find it interesting that you note that we should not be emotional about the issue. Perhaps you can tell the owners of the properties that burned to the ground on Whitney Drive in December 2019 and on Locust Road in September 2018 that they shouldn’t be emotional about the loss of their property or cherished memories, or the fact that they may have lost their lives in those fires.

I’ve listened to you and Mr. Mike Mason, the chair of the BET, go on at length about how it is premature to fund a NW Greenwich fire station. The need for a NW Greenwich fire station was identified about 20 years ago. It was approved by the RTM and the former first selectman then and again in 2019. It was even identified as a need in the Matrix Consultant study that you referred to in your article. And, yet, you and Mr. Mason continue to fail to address the matter.

The Round Hill Volunteer Fire Station is a wonderful asset to the town, and to NW Greenwich (especially considering that at the moment there is no other coverage), however volunteers are unable to commit to 24/7 shifts in the event of an emergency. Hence, I am baffled by your statement that expanding their facility to accommodate more volunteers will solve the issue in NW Greenwich. What I also find intriguing is that both you and Mr. Mason purport to have a better understanding of the public safety needs of NW Greenwich than our Fire Chief and a consulting hired for the express purpose of analyzing the deficiencies of fire protection in our
town.

As with all the other critical capital projects that you and the BET are unwilling to fund, I hope that you too will find it within yourself to be unemotional when families decide that neighboring towns have so much more to offer than Greenwich does, especially when it comes to public
safety and public education. And perhaps you will be able to do ponder this at a renovated Eastern Greenwich Civic Center or Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

Rachel Khanna is an RTM member in District 10. The opinions expressed herein are her own.

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