Letter to the Editors: Firefighters Seek Support For Firehouse Expansion

In 1969, John Paulding Engine Company’s firehouse located on Route 340 in Sparkill was built to more effectively serve the residents and visitors to the Sparkill-Palisades Fire District. Over the past 48 years, we have expanded to include Thorpe Village, IBM, Lamont, S.T.A.C., Venture, Dowling Gardens Senior Home, and numerous new housing developments, parcels, and streets. We now have 40 active volunteer firefighters who answer the call for over 120 alarms a year, working tirelessly and without compensation.

While we continue to grow and remain steadfast with our duties and responsibilities in serving you, our building has not.

The concrete engine room floor has shown increased cracking and wear and tear as fire apparatus has gotten larger and heavier, causing particular concern for the weight and size of our 33-ton ladder truck. Overcrowding in our engine room with a backup generator and racks of firefighter gear has caused safety concerns when our firefighters turn out for emergency calls and training.

State mandates for more highly skilled training requires larger designated areas of our firehouse. Record keeping and advancements in technology also require designated secure rooms and office spaces.

The Board of Fire Commissioners, made up of active firefighters, all with over 30 years of service as firefighters, Chiefs, and Commissioners, has been working on a design that would expand our existing structure to meet current operational needs and accommodate growth into the future.

The Board has our full support in this venture and on Tuesday, December 12, we will be seeking yours. Since the Sparkill/Palisades Fire District will bond the addition, public approval is required. It is estimated that the cost will be $5,400,000 to be paid over the length of the bond, with building to begin tentatively in the late summer or fall of 2018.

We invite you to come to our public information session and open house to be scheduled sometime in October or early November. Board members and firefighters will be available to answer your questions and expand on this justified need so we can better serve your community.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please remain safe!

Michael A. Yannazzone, Jr.
Ex-Chief, Vice President
John Paulding Engine Co., Inc.,
Sparkill, New York