STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Stamford Professional Fire Fighters Association is applauding the Sept. 15. Connecticut Appellate Court decision that reaffirmed Stamford residents’ vote in favor of establishing a single Stamford fire department.
This would be established by streamlining the paid and volunteer fire companies into a single chain of command.
“The court has finally reaffirmed just how crucial the implementation of the Charter Revision #2 is to public safety," SPFFA President Brendan Keatley said. "It has been a nearly three-year-long wait, and it is finally time for fire service unification in the third largest city in Connecticut.”
The 2012 Charter Revision Item No. 2 to unify Stamford’s fire department received more votes than any other item on the 2012 ballot, with 26,112 votes (66.4 percent) in favor and just 13,212 votes (33.6 percent) against.
This mandate showed that Stamford citizens wanted to replace the pre-1950s era system of six different fire departments, with each volunteer company maintaining its own unique chain of command, budget, staffing and differing training standards.
The 2012 Charter law mandated changes were to go into effect within 30 days of its passage, or by Dec. 6, 2012.
That implementation was delayed by lawsuits and appeals filed by volunteer chiefs, challenging the legality of the vote over concerns it would weaken their control.
The SPFFA long advocated for the necessity of consolidation, more than 65 years after the Town of Stamford and City of Stamford merged in 1949, and almost three years after the voters spoke.
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