A CALL TO ACTION !!!
Citizen Call to Action!
We would like to ensure that the citizens of Johnstown who care enough to visit our site understand the situation that is currently unfolding. The citizens of Johnstown have been protected by a career fire department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 100 years. At one time, the City staffed and maintained 7 fire stations with 106 firefighters. That number has been reduced over the years to the most recent 3 fire stations and 41 firefighters. These stations are located downtown (Washington St), Hornerstown (Ash St), and in the West End (Fairfiled/Broad St.). The City and the Union have commissioned many studies over the years in search of the Cities operating efficiency as a whole. There was one common thread in all of these studies. The number of fire stations could not be reduced! Do to the geographic layout of the City and the location of the fire stations, closing any of them would lead to increased response times to reach citizens in need and an unsafe fire ground for the firefighters.
Most recently, the City leadership has decided to immediately reduce the department by 4 firefighters with as many as 8 by the end of the year. This reduction in manpower has caused the closure of the downtown station. What does that mean? First and foremost, the Fire Department prides itself on being able to quickly reach a citizen in need anywhere in the City. That was before the closure of the downtown station. The immediate effects are to the residents of the Downtown wards, Conemaugh borough, Prospect, Kernville, and Woodvale. If you are reading this and live in one of these neighborhoods your fire station is permanently closed. If you have a fire, accident, or medical emergency you will have to wait until the fire truck from the West End or Hornerstown station gets there. Obviously, a significant increase in time while you wait for help! This does not mean the other City neighborhoods protection remains the same. For example, the residents of Moxham or Oakhurst, you will have a quick response from your neighborhood fire truck just as before. However, the firefighters on this truck will not have enough manpower to safely and effectively perform many of the duties required. Normally, our help is not far away. Traditionally it has been a 4 to 5 minutes response from the Downtown Station. Now, after the Station closure firefighters have been waiting 12-15 minutes (at recent fires) for the second truck to arrive. As we have tried to illustrate earlier, your safety, our safety, and our ability to save your property directly relates to the number of firefighters available and a quick response to the scene. This is a serious safety concern for you, your family, and our firefighters. We have evaluated actual response times from incidents before and after the firefighter layoffs and we have determined that these times have generally doubled! These facts easily illustrate that your safety (and ours) has been dangerously reduced! We ask that you contact your City Leaders to demand the safety, protection, and service that you pay for and deserve!
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