Nobody likes paying higher taxes. Then again, nobody likes having their house burn down while waiting for a firetruck to arrive.
If it’s taking 14 minutes for the Paris Fire Department to roll a truck, that is too long and a problem that must be corrected.
“To me, that’s a red flag,” Town Manager Philip Tarr told selectmen Monday. In one incident last week, it reportedly took 14 minutes for enough personnel to reach the fire station.
We wouldn’t be surprised if this is happening in other towns as well, as municipalities with volunteer forces struggle to staff their stations during the day.
This has been a growing problem for the past decade, as more and more Mainers leave small towns for work in service-center cities.
The solution pondered by Paris selectmen Monday was sharing a couple of per-diem firefighters with Norway.
One golden opportunity was passed up several years ago: combining local departments. That likely would have made staffing easier.
Perhaps separate fire and police departments is a luxury the towns can no longer afford.