Cabot EMS and Fire Department relocated due to flooding

Published: Jul. 30, 2023 at 10:19 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2023 at 11:10 PM EDT
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CABOT, Vt. (WCAX) - Not only have Cabot’s town residents and roads been affected by the recent storm, the results are taking a toll on the EMS and Fire Department.

On Friday, town officials were notified by the state fire marshal that because of the recent storm, the embankment behind the fire department is starting to degrade.

The state has now yellow-tagged the building, giving crews limited access, and causing the town to have to find a new location for EMS and fire crews.

EMS equipment and fire trucks have been moved to different locations throughout town for the time being. But getting a new building for emergency personnel was not something the town anticipated.

“The biggest concern is first that we get a temporary location for the fire department to be in, and the ambulance. Secondly, how do we go about funding a new station? We thought we’d be a year or two off, but the storm pushed everything up,” said Michael Horgan, the chair of the Cabot Selectboard.

The embankment has been an area of concern since 2014 and the building’s foundation is already starting to crack. The state put pink, red and yellow flags to mark the areas that are considered dangerous.

The town has already been looking at some properties for the new building and there have been talks of the select board doing an emergency meeting to start putting up bonds.

EMS and fire crews hope to get the process moving along as soon as possible and they want residents to know they are still there even without a home base.

“I think just making sure that we are being transparent with the community that when they dial 911, we are still going to respond. Our responders are aware of where our truck is,” Cabot EMS President Jennifer Miner explained.

“My biggest concern, obviously, is response time. Being a volunteer fire department, we have to come from our homes to the station, get the apparatus, then go to the scene. The position of our temporary facility I’m trying to keep as centrally located as possible,” Cabot Fire Chief Dean Deasy said.

Residents like Johanna Thibault are worried about the emergency personnel not having a station.

“I live right around the corner, so I hear the sirens go off every time they go off. It’s been very active so knowing that they are here has been really comforting. Not having a home, and they have their trucks all over town, they are looking for a location, it’s a bit terrifying,” explained Thibault.

The town officials say it could take up to a year to find a new location for EMS and fire department members. The embankment is a whole different story as it could be a huge problem for the town of Cabot in the long run.