STAMFORD, Conn. -- The state Superior Court has upheld the constitutionality of the 2012 charter revision referendum that established a unified Fire Department in Stamford, the city announced Friday.
The unified department is led by a chief of the Stamford Fire Department with an assistant chief for career service firefighters and an assistant chief for volunteer service firefighters, Mayor David Martin said in a statement.
“It is promising to learn that the court upheld the decision made by Stamford voters and reassuring to know that the Fire Service in the City of Stamford will be working together as one unified department to keep residents safe,” Martin said.
The state court affirmed the continuing role of the volunteer fire departments under the terms of the revised charter for providing fire protection services within their districts, the statement said.
“The court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the charter provides the foundation for a unified fire service consisting of both volunteer and career personnel working together," said Ted Jankowski, the city's director of public safety, health and welfare. "This is a positive step forward and I am confident that a unified fire department will allow for more effective and efficient fire protection for the entire City of Stamford.”
At the monthly Fire Commission meeting on Thursday, Dec. 19, the Fire Commission reviewed and extended the interim consent order for the unified department. The chiefs of the Long Ridge Fire Department, the Springdale Fire Department and the Turn of River Department, as well as Fire Chief Peter Brown and Jankowski attended.
“The court decision provides an opportunity to move forward in our effort to make a stronger and unified fire service," Brown said. "I am looking forward to working closely with the volunteer fire departments to provide the best possible fire protection for the City of Stamford and its residents.”
Stamford and the three volunteer departments entered into an agreement that will automatically terminate on Jan. 31, unless extended by agreement of the parties, to continue operating under the interim consent order. That order was agreed to March 28 with the addendum agreed to Dec. 19.
The agreement will prevent any disruption in fire services in Stamford and will allow the parties the opportunity to discuss a plan for moving forward.