I urge the St. James Fire District to rethink its proposal to sell its firehouse on Route 25A [“Burning issue,” News, Sept. 6].
In the best-case scenario, emergency response times to areas in the north and east sections of the district, including the Village of Head of the Harbor, could be increased by precious minutes if responders come from Jefferson Avenue instead of Route 25A. Also, if there’s an emergency north of the train tracks while the crossing gates are down, the response time will be greater.
I understand that technology enables faster communication with LIRR personnel, but that assumption relies on perfect conditions. Additionally, traffic up Lake Avenue and congestion near St. James Elementary School could exacerbate response times.
I understand that the Route 25A firehouse needs work and cannot accommodate larger trucks. However, it should be renovated or rebuilt to house smaller first-response vehicles, including trucks.
If members’ access to the firehouse across 25A is sometimes delayed by traffic, perhaps the district could arrange with the state Department of Transportation for responders to have the ability to manipulate the traffic signal, allowing them to cross.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, St. James