Village stomps out Waterford’s fire-EMS proposal

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Rochester officials this week upheld the strong sentiments shared this summer and snuffed out any immediate plans of canceling the village’s contract with the local fire company to enter into an agreement with the Village of Waterford’s department.

In June, the Village of Waterford proposed Rochester contract with the municipality and unwind its near-century long arrangement with the Rochester Volunteer Fire Company.

Rochester’s board adamantly opposed the overture at the time, but a new round of discussion on the proposal ensued at a Rochester Village Board meeting Oct. 28.

The issues between the two communities over fire and emergency medical services protection, which have been ongoing in recent years, went under the microscope at this week’s Rochester meeting.

Rochester’s board reviewed a letter from Rick Mueller, chief of the Village of Waterford Fire Department.

Mueller’s letter, dated Sept. 25, outlined concerns largely stretching back four years and touch on such issues as response times within Rochester and the volunteer fire company’s certification and training protocol.

Cathy Wagner, assistant chief with the Rochester Volunteer Fire Company, was quick to defend the agency when she spoke to the Village Board at Monday’s meeting.

“We are always striving to find ways to improve ourselves, individually and as a department,” Wagner said.

At this week’s meeting, the Rochester Village Board was swift in its decision to stick with the RVFC.

“I feel confident in our fire department,” Trustee Chris Johnson said. “I’m very proud of our fire company.”

Village President Ed Chart acknowledged the municipality might have to face big decisions in the road ahead as such issues as redistricting and financial constraints become more pronounced.

“But I just assume staying with who we have,” Chart said. “I think someday we’ll have to make a change, but we can’t afford to get rid of anybody.”

To read the entire story see the Nov. 1 edition of the Waterford Post.