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Mendon Musings

I think the proposal to "outsource" Mendon's Fire Department/EMTs deserves much more attention than it's been getting.

If the reason behind it is to improve response time, doesn't it make more sense to increase staffing within Mendon, rather than having our first responders come from another town?

I remember that it was not all that long ago when Mendon had no ambulance service of its own. We had to rely on a private ambulance service from Milford. Getting through Milford's traffic was their first obstacle. Next, if in the evening, they had to navigate the logjam of cars on Rt. 16 leading up to the traffic light.

Response time – when we have staff on duty – has greatly improved since those days. I know that I am alive today thanks to the fact the ambulance I needed in December, 2005 was then at the old Fire Station on Main St. They reached me fast enough to get me to the hospital Emergency Room in time. Hospital personnel told me afterward that I was seconds away from dying when I was brought in.

How many seconds more will we have to wait if the ambulance has to come from another town? Or, if it is still stationed in Mendon, how long will we have to wait for other town's employees to learn Mendon's streets?

I know that the power to make this decision lies with the Board of Selectmen, but I think the three selectmen need to do more than discuss this at their regular meetings.

I'd like to see an open forum where anyone can attend, get briefed on what options are being considered or rejected, and be able to speak their two cents' worth about the topic. It's too important a topic not to have this kind of dialogue.

Forgive me if I haven't read all the available information, but my life is busy enough already. Having a townwide forum would make it easier for everyone not privy to all the details to get up to speed quickly.

I've got some questions of my own that I would like to get answered:

• What's the cost of having enough staff in Mendon to provide 24x7x365 coverage, compared to having the service provided by another town?

• What happens to the "new" Fire Station that we are still paying for?

• Who is ultimately responsible for the current condition of our Fire Department?

Maybe I'm asking for too much. But, it's a lot easier to get an idea supported by an informed public as opposed to what we have now – everyone telling you what "they heard."


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