Northeast Kingdom to explore fire department regionalization

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) Cost concerns and the dwindling number of on-call firefighters in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom have opened discussions about the regionalization of fire departments.

The St. Johnsbury Select Board had gone on the record last week in favor of exploring a shift to a coordinated, centralized, regional firefighting system based out of St. Johnsbury.

The Caledonian-Record reports St. Johnsbury is the only full-time professional fire department in Caledonia County. Its firefighters are on-call 24/7 year-round and at a cost of over $900,000.

Town officials say they will have to look "at all assets and all pieces of the puzzle" before they fully embrace the concept at this time.

St. Johnsbury Fire Chief John Bouffard says under regionalization, the community would get a more consistent response.

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