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Taghkanic debates fire district lines

Aug 14, 2019 1:00 pm
Amanda Purcell is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Taghkanic Town Board public hearing on a proposed revision to the Taghkanic Fire District boundaries drew an overflow crowd, August 12. If the revision is approved, residents currently served by the EMS workers and firefighters in the Churchtown Fire District could see a change in who responds to their calls. The area located east of the Taconic State Parkway in the town of Taghkanic would be covered by the Taghkanic Fire Department. The Craryville Fire District boundary would not be changed. Issues raised during the hearing included concerns over response times and the cost impact on the Churchtown department. The proposed changes were raised by the town board, not the fire department, Town Supervisor Ryan Skoda said. No residents requested the changes or complained about response time or the departments, Skoda confirmed. The district lines were drawn in 1965 and did not take into account the location of the fire stations. The Churchtown department was founded in 1934, and the Taghkanic department was established 10 years later to support Churchtown. In many cases, the two departments work together when responding to major calls and providing mutual aid, according to Purcell. From 2015 into 2019, Churchtown answered 140 calls in the Taghkanic Fire Protection District; 89 of those calls, or about 65 percent, were EMS calls. Some at the hearing suggested keeping Churchtown EMS service in the proposed new Taghkanic district. The town will continue discussions with the two fire departments and consider town comments before a decision is made to move the boundary changes forward. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.