Nova Scotia

Greenwich fire station spared after Kings County council pauses closure plans

Nova Scotia's Municipality of the County of Kings reversed course and voted to pause its plan to close the Greenwich Volunteer Fire Department at a council meeting Thursday evening.

'We will, in effect, be pushing the restart button,' Mayor Peter Muttart says

Greenwich firefighters will stay at their station until a new fire-protection plan is agreed upon. (Submitted by Greenwich Volunteer Fire Department)

Nova Scotia's Municipality of the County of Kings reversed course and voted to pause its plan to close the Greenwich Volunteer Fire Department at a council meeting Thursday evening.

After hearing from the public, Mayor Peter Muttart said council changed plans to close the station and hand its assets to the Wolfville Volunteer Fire Department in two weeks. 

"With their consent, we will, in effect, be pushing the restart button," Muttart stated in a news release. He said council will take a fresh look at changing how the area is protected by firefighters.

Council faced a backlash when it announced the move before speaking to the fire station. Muttart said the council then held public sessions about the fire station.

Two main themes emerged, he said: that the Greenwich station remain open until a new, replacement station has been built and is operational; and that the location of that station be made public well before the fire service makes any more changes.

The release said the municipality anticipates the Town of Wolfville and the Greenwich Fire Commission will agree to the change. The town and commission had supported the move to shutter the Greenwich station.

Wolfville Mayor Wendy Donovan said they will discuss the move at Tuesday's council meeting. CBC News has been unable to reach the three-person fire commission.

Fire chief relieved

Jason Ripley, chief of the Greenwich fire station, said he's glad his department will live beyond the proposed April 1 closing date.

But he said he was disappointed the fire department wasn't listed as a stakeholder in the motion.

"We believe any future discussion about a new fire station for both districts needs to include both fire departments to ensure the talents of the volunteers with both stations can be harnessed to provide the best possible service to the area," Ripley said in a news release.

He said his volunteer department thanked community members who had supported them over the last two weeks. He said any future changes need community support before they're announced.

He said they'll talk to their lawyer about the "appropriate next steps" for their legal action calling for a judicial inquiry into the decision to shut the department.

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