This article first appeared in the July 17, 2014 edition of the Vermont Standard.
By Katy Savage, Standard Staff
READING — To make things more convenient, the Reading Fire Department and Reading Rescue squad are combining forces.
The group will now be called Reading Fire and Rescue. Both will hear the same tone on their radios. If it’s a rescue call, only those who are EMS trained will respond and if it’s a fire call, both will go.
The rescue squad has previously been independent from the town. It started petitioning Reading for money about seven years ago. Before then, it relied on donations.
“It got to a point where it was hard to keep monies going,” said Don Scullin, who is part of the Reading Rescue squad.
The town budgeted $2,300 for the rescue squad in 2014. Under the new arrangement, both departments will share a certain amount of the budget.
“Our operating budget will not be more than what it already has been,” Scullin said.
Another reason for the collaboration is that the majority of people already volunteer for both services. About 10 people who are on the rescue squad also volunteer for the fire department, which consists of about 15-20 people.
Both of the departments currently use the same town-owned building.
“They have certain capacities that we wouldn’t have been able to use so we will save money in that respect,” Scullin said.
Scullin doesn’t anticipate the new organizational structure will bring many changes to how it operates.
“I don’t see it as being a cost savings benefit to the town. I see it as being a response benefit to the town,” said Selectboard chair Bob Allen.
In other news, two of the five library trustees have handed in resignations.
Sten Bowan and Penny Allyn have resigned because they’ve become too busy, according to their resignation letters, Allen said.
“I just don’t have enough time,” said Allyn, who is a lister and volunteers at the Reading Food Shelf.
The board appointed two new trustees at the Monday meeting.
The board also voted to purchase a new highway truck at the meeting.
The previous one-ton truck was about eight years old and was showing its age. The board decided to purchase a new Ford F550 for $88,000.
The board meets again Aug. 11 at 6 p.m.