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.

Comments (5)
  1. emom says:

    OK on the odd chance there is an emergency,,, OH LETS SAY …. A Fire of some kind… then an accident, and oh say maybe some other kind of emergency call… WHAT THEN… How safe can this truly be. …… OH wait … IT”S NOT…. Weymouth does this.. And there has been issues. A few other towns around tried similar things,,,, cutting 3rd shifts, Yeah like that’s wise. NOT. Not sure how many fire houses there are in Taunton, But even having just 1 closed , posses a huge RISK. And all this to save money.. Did anyone of them ever hear of GIVING permission for their vacation, staggering who can take them at the same time. Its like businesses all of a sudden allowed their entire work force to take a vacation at the same time…… WELLL guess you have to go with out or shop in another town. Only if there open……We will be paying for this just wait.

  2. VolunteerFF says:

    Take a vacation from a job that pays you to sleep? Two days on five days off. Sounds like they get a vacation every week to me. How about having them work eight hour shifts every day with no sleeping on the job and THEN we can talk about taking a vacation.
    Good grief!

  3. jaygee says:

    Cities & towns along with the state continues to cut, cut, cut. The roads are in terrible shape and schools are laying people off. What’s funny is that with all of this cost cutting, some people don’t mind one iota that we spend 2 billion dollars every WEEK in Afghanistan. They are building roads, schools and infrastructure that will eventually be blown up or destroyed but this country continues to try to save a country that can’t be saved. Ten years, a trillion dollars, the deaths of far too many soldiers and still there is no end in sight.
    I won’t mention Iraq and the trillion spent there so far. What a total waste.

  4. Danger says:

    Great idea! Chelsea did something similar in the early 90s, and 5 children died together on Essex St. The first-due engine was the one put out of service, the second-due engine was already out on a medical call, and the third-due engine was the first to arrive. The first engine was put back in service the following morning and has never been taken out since. It’s very simple, you can skip the politics and the denigration of firefighters. It takes X number of men, X number of Engines, and X response time to get to a house fire and rescue someone from it. If you don’t have enough people, enough water, and get there fast enough, the person doesn’t get rescued. Very, very simple. The Fire Dept is not the D.P.W. They are playing with lives. Fact.

  5. emom says:

    All these cuts is making some politician very happy… All they do is cause problems by cutting services, take money away form vital services and lay folks off. We become victims of their whims. When will they finally realize its not worth the hassle. To many fire departments have closed across the state, They cut 3rd shifts making the middle of the night dangerous for us. They rely on other towns to pick up the SLACK, which is unfair to them and the folks in that town are then put at risk. Does that seem fair,, NOT. The need to NOT ALLOW all personal to take their vacations at the same time.. ITS NOT SAFE

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