By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Southington Town Council met on Monday, Sept. 9. Council chair, Christopher Palmieri, introduced Richard Butler, Chief of the Southington Fire Department, who gave an annual update on the department.
Butler began his presentation by sharing a stereotypical photo of the job – firefighters rushing towards a building engulfed in flames.
“When people start thinking about the fire department, this picture is probably the first thing they think of – that the fire department goes out and all we do in the course of our day is go to fires,” said Butler. “Well, needless to say, that may have been the case 30, 40, 50 years ago – today the fire service does so much more.”
The chief explained that all members of the department take part in community outreach programs, run emergency medical calls, run rescue calls, and much more.
“I have a strong belief that getting out into the community, getting our firefighters out into the community, providing additional services to our community is vital for our organization,” said Butler. “You call us and we’ll come out and make a good effort to make sure that we address whatever the citizen’s needs are at that time.”
The Southington Fire Department was established on Nov. 12, 1884, and will be celebrating the 135th year this fall.
Butler explained that the mission of the department is “to provide the residents of Southington and those who pass through it fire and rescue services,” and “to protect life and property through prevention, code enforcement, fire suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services.”
The department is currently comprised of 102 active members, and is overseen by the Board of Fire Commissioners. Nathan Wilson serves as the chair of the commission, along with vice chair Christine Shanley-Buck, secretary Christopher Robertson, and commissioners John Moise and Michael Bunko.
SFD is operated out of four stations, with headquarters and Company 1 located at 310 North Main Street. Housed at company one are an engine, a ladder vehicle, and a rescue and reserve engine. Company 2, on West Main Street, has an engine, a tanker, and a brush truck. Company 3, on Clark Street, has an engine, a ladder vehicle, a rescue vehicle, a decon trailer, a command unit, and a life safety trailer. And, Company 5, on River Street, has an engine and a reserve engine.
Chief Butler shared some of the department’s accomplishments from the past year, including the news that Assistant Chief James Paul Jr., completed the fire marshal training program, and is now the Southington Fire Marshall.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.