Old Deerfield Fire to plan for future

DEERFIELD — Over the next year, the Old Deerfield Fire District will re-evaluate how it functions and come up with best practices to move forward.

Prudential Committee member Patricia Kelly said the review is part of the fire district’s long-term plans.

Old Deerfield fire department serves the historic village area, East Deerfield and West Deerfield. About 60 percent of the district’s tax base is made up of nonprofits – including Deerfield Academy, Eaglebrook School, Bement School, Historic Deerfield, Woolman Hill Quaker retreats and Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. The southern part of town is served by the South Deerfield Fire District.

The long-term plans were what convinced the nonprofits this spring to provide $80,000 over the next 10 years for the purchase of a new fire truck.

The fire district will also focus more on recruitment by reaching out to different staff members of the nonprofits and other residents. There are also plans to provide additional training for firefighters, rescue workers and first responders. The training is usually free or at a low cost and provided by other districts, Kelly said.

Currently, the district has 18 active volunteers. With the new truck, it would have a total of two trucks and two brush trucks.

The consolidation of the two fire districts is a possible topic for future discussion, Kelly said.

About six years ago, the town organized a committee to explore the consolidation of the fire districts. Nothing came out of that discussion.

“I would hope that the two prudential committees could come together and a have a conversation,” Kelly said.

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