TAUNTON (CBS) – The city of Taunton is taking a bit of a gamble with its fire department. Starting Monday, they’re shutting down an entire fire station when too many firefighters take vacation days.
On the flip side, Taunton’s mayor says that and other unusual moves are the reason the city has been able to avoid laying off any of its police officers or firefighters.
For the few dozen elderly and disabled residents of the Caswell Grove Facility, it’s been nice peace of mind knowing there’s a fire station right across the street.
“When a person gets sick here, they’re the first ones over here to help the old ones,” resident Albert Alege pointed out.
But, as part of the new strategy, the East Taunton station they rely on was closed on Monday and had been all weekend.
“We’re not happy when we have to close any station down,” said Mayor Charles Crowley. “But it’s something that we have to deal with.”
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports
The fiscal year just started July 1st, so there’s plenty of cash, it’s just a matter of making it last 12 more months.
When firefighters take vacation days, the city can replace them by paying workers overtime; or they can just shut the whole place down.
Taunton officials will decide on a day-to-day basis which stations open and which stations close.