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Stamford Delays Decision on Fire Plan

STAMFORD, Conn. — No decision will be made about Stamford’s much-debated fire plan until next year at the earliest, the Public Safety and Health Committee of the city’s Board of Representatives decided Thursday night.

The committee wants to make sure it can answer all questions the public may have about the fire plan Mayor Michael Pavia submitted before moving forward, co-chairman Gloria DePina said before closing the meeting.

During the meeting, former Turn of River Fire Chief Ray Whitbread compared the mayor’s plan with the Peter Brown plan, which would essentially move more Stamford Fire & Rescue personnel to the volunteer districts. Under the mayor’s plan, there would be more firefighters, engine companies and pieces of apparatus. The Brown plan would not cost the city anything extra but would limit the volunteer involvement, he said.

“These guys didn’t join to sit around and watch television,” Whitbread said of the volunteers.

Brendan Keatley , president of the firefighter’s union in Stamford, refuted the volunteer’s explanation of the Brown plan, saying that volunteers would have a role in covering their districts while receiving help from the department. “We would like to work together,” Keatley said of the volunteers. “They want to control people.”

Under the mayor’s plan, two fire departments would cover Stamford — the Stamford Volunteer Fire Department in North Stamford and Stamford Fire & Rescue in downtown. The volunteer fire houses would also have two to three paid firefighters in the house at all times.

Belltown , Long Ridge and Turn of River volunteer houses merged in early June to form the Stamford Volunteer Fire Department. Springdale has agreed to the terms but has not joined, and New Hope ( Glenbrook ) will keep its current status with volunteers sharing the house with a Stamford Fire and Rescue Engine.

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