FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The closure of a fire station in Fall River has triggered a lot of discussion about what needs to be done to ensure the city’s residents are safe.
Chief Robert Viveiros temporarily closed the Globe Street fire house due to water damage. Compounding the problem, the number of firefighters in the city has been reduced to 175. Officials say the ideal number they want on the force is 200.
“When we’re at fire, we don’t have enough guys working per day. That’s the issue,” said Jason Burns, the president of the firefighters’ union. “We don’t have enough firefighters to do the job appropriately right now.”
Chief Viveiros says his department’s low budget makes it the laughing stock of the state.
The lack of firefighters in Fall River also impacts the surrounding communities. Neighboring cities and towns could be called on to provide mutual aid to help pick up the slack if Fall River needs help fighting a fire.