BURRILLVILLE – Five years since its closure, a building that long held staff and apparatus to provide emergency response for residents in the village of Nasonville is now on track to reopen.
The fire station at 2577 Victory Highway is expected to turn on its lights within about a month under the new banner of the East Burrillville Fire District, according to department officials.
The building went dark in 2018 following a decision by Nasonville voters to dissolve the village district, and consolidation efforts have been underway since to merge the department with neighboring Oakland Mapleville. The two districts officially became one last year, with a new East Burrillville department serving some 22 square-miles of town, with coverage to roughly 8,500 homes under the guidance of Chief Joseph Bertholic.
Now, the old Nasonville station will be staffed, and once again ready for calls from village residents.
“We budgeted this year to open it seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Bertholic. “That will cut down on the response time for Nasonville calls.”
The chief noted that the decision on staffing hours was based on call records showing it’s the busiest time of day. For the past several weeks, Bertholic has been hiring part time EMTs and firefighters with plans to keep two emergency responders available during daytime hours.
“I’ve hired several people over the past couple of weeks,” he said, noting that he’s now completing the final interviews for the 6-8 member Nasonville team.
The station, he noted, has been maintained throughout the five year hiatus and used for storage. Prior to the vote to dissolve operations, district officials had plans to replace the roof on the building, a project Bertholic notes was completed over the summer. An office has been set up for Treasurer Christine Chretien, and a deep cleaning of the structure is now underway in preparation for incoming staff.
“It’s going to be a good thing that the station is back open and running,” said Chretien while speaking on the merger at a meeting this week with members of the Burrillville Lions Club.
Equipment was also maintained, save the elimination of some redundancies – and the sale of one rescue with mechanical problems.
“We sold off some excess equipment,” explained Bertholic. “We still have an engine and a tanker that belonged to Nasonville.”
Overall, he notes, operations since the merger have been going smoothly, with the station reopening an important step forward in keeping response times to a minimum.
What is still needed, the chief said, is volunteers.
“We definitely could use some volunteers on that side of the district,” he said, noting that none of the district’s volunteers come from the area.
Those interested in serving the village are instructed to contact any of the town’s fire departments.