The Cortlandville Fire District held its monthly meeting last night (December 17), where several residents voiced their concerns with a recent decision to pull from an annual $30k contract with Homer Fire Department.
In fact, a petition was presented signed by more than 30 Cortlandville residents demanding reinstatement of the contract, worried their protection from fire and other emergencies may be at stake.
However, Cortlandville fire board chairman Kevin Whitney assure them this will not be this case.
Town leaders recently posted the following notification in the local newspaper, which provides further detail on the decision, along with reasoning of why residents ought not to worry:
“Effective January 1st, 2020, Cortlandville residents living in the northeast portion of the Town of Cortlandville who were previously provided fire protection services through a contract with the Village of Homer Fire Department will now receive fire protection services from the Cortlandville Fire District.
Please take not that all areas of the Cortlandville Fire District currently and in the future will receive automatic mutual aid from the Homer Fire Department; if any reported fire occurs within the town, both fire departments are activated simultaneously.”
Upon its inception in 1982, Cortlandville fire district contracted with Homer, McGraw and the city of Cortland departments to cover certain parts of the town until it managed to develop enough to handle these areas by itself.
The town’s already ended its contracts with Cortland and McGraw, making Homer the final “rung in the ladder.”
What started as a makeshift department comprised of crews from neighboring municipalities is now 57-members strong, three pumpers, one aerial, two brush trucks, three tankers and a one heavy rescue unit.
Crews utilize both a primary headquarters on Terrace Road and a second supplemental station off Route 11 in Polkville.
“We would never jeopardize the safety of our residents and we want to make it very clear the Cortlandville Fire District, like every single fire department in Cortland County, enjoys a very close working relationship with each other and heavily utilize the county-wide mutual aid system,” Whitney said. “Any and all reported structure fires in the entire town of Cortlandville automatically has Homer FD dispatched at the same time as Cortlandville FD – and this will continue to be the case.”