WILTON — Fire Chief Sonny Dunham told selectpersons Tuesday, Dec. 18 that the department was facing an increase in calls.

It received 76 calls in the past quarter, an increase of about 60 percent.

For the year, the department has responded to 25 percent more calls than last year. He said the incidents were not of any particular nature.

“I know there were at least three days in the last quarter when you had more than a dozen calls each day,” Selectperson Keith Swett said.

Dunham said those calls were mostly related to trees and power lines downed during bad weather.

“These storms are a pain,” he said. “It doesn’t end when we send everyone home. If we block roads because of downed lines, Public Works Foreman Dale Roberts and I have to keep checking on them because people move cones on us. If they think they can squeak by, they will.”

Swett asked about the department’s practice of occasionally logging fire trucks as unavailable, or being out of service.

“Anytime we use a piece of fire apparatus, don’t care what it is, if we use it for something other than a fire call, we put it out of service,” Dunham said. “It would be foolish for me to be drawing water from a truck for the town and have a call come in.”

Marking equipment as out of service did not mean that it would not be used in case of an emergency, it just meant the equipment was being used for something else at a particular moment, he said.

Dunham said four firefighters had completed Firefighter I and Firefighter II courses.

“They passed their tests and are certified,” he said. “They put in more than 120 hours to accomplish that.”

The Fire Department has several training courses lined up over the next several months, he said. On Jan. 5, the department will participate in countywide annual training at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. Other upcoming training includes firefighter survival in February and cold-water rescue in March.

In other matters, the board accepted bids for three foreclosed properties. Two bids were received for property on Sunset Avenue. The minimum bid was $2,933. The property was awarded to Rusty Brann, with a high bid of $5,100.

Michael Spardello of Kingfield was the only bidder for properties on Weld Road and Olivewood Circle. The minimum bid for property on Weld Road was $1,731. Spardello bid $2,800.

He bid $2,900 for the property on Olivewood Circle. The minimum bid for that property was $2,000.

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