Editorial: New fire truck would be a smart addition
It seems unlikely that having an additional engine on hand would have made much difference when Farmington firefighters responded to a report of a house fire last Friday morning.
The fire, which had started with a discarded cigarette butt in the garage, had spread quickly and much of the house was engulfed by the time firefighters arrived.
But that might not always be the case. Firefighters were limited last week by the fact one of their engines was in the shop with a leaking gas tank. They had to wait for help from the Lakeville Fire Department before they could get into the house. That delay might have meant more destruction inside, even if it didn't make the difference between saving the house and losing it.
But what if the situation had been different? What if lacking a back-up engine someday costs someone their house? What if it costs someone their life?
The Farmington Fire Department has been asking for years for a new fire engine. The idea is to have one in reserve so there will always be at least two ready to respond to a call. In the case of Friday's fire, having two engines right away would have allowed firefighters to fight the flames simultaneously from inside the building and out.
There are plenty of things to think about as the city of Farmington puts together its budget for next year. Everybody has needs, and it's not always easy to decide what's needed and what's not. But firefighters are among the few in the city for whom going to work could mean risking their life. Having the right tools is important.
This year seems a particularly good opportunity to make sure firefighters have the tools they need. The city has fiscal disparities money that it will have one time only. Spending it on an ongoing expense doesn't make sense, but using it for one big expense - say a fire engine - seems ideal.