Newtown Supervisors receive long-awaited fire, emergency services study; recommends combining paid firefighting staff with volunteer force & moving station to Sycamore Street | Newtown News of Interest |

The main recommendation: the all-volunteer Newtown Fire Association (NFA) and the township’s nine-member paid firefighting and emergency services staff should be combined under one roof to ensure better response times, as well as a better overall command structure.


The 62-page report also recommends that a more centrally-located fire station be built to house both squads.


[Read “Newtown Township Releases the 2018 Fire and Emergency Services Study”; for a more complete list of recommendations.]


Fire protection consultant Harry R. Carter, PhD of Aldelphia, N.J. discussed what needs to be done and the equipment which must be purchased to ensure that fire services are adequate over the next decade for the Newtown area.


[View this video clip  from the January 23, 2019, BOS meeting, which features Dr. Carter's answers to the many questions posed by the Supervisors.]


As far as new equipment, he said that a 75-foot ladder should be purchased, as well as a Quick Response Vehicle (QRV) which would hold a two-member crew and provide mostly a first-aid function in emergencies.


One of the current township fire trucks has more than 133,000 miles on it and purchasing a new fire vehicle is in the township’s future capital plans.


Former township manager Kurt Ferguson had pushed for the fire study, claiming that such a report is needed before the township can purchase any new fire trucks, which can each cost several hundred thousand dollars.


The comprehensive study was budgeted at $30,000 when put out for bid in November 2017, and was to include the Newtown Fire Association, as well as the township’s Emergency Service Department (ESD).


For the 2019 budget year which began Jan. 1, $1,043,537 is earmarked for the township’s emergency services, with $75,000 set aside in the capital budget for buying a new fire truck.


This year’s budget also includes another $175,100 to fund the Newtown Fire Association.