Lowell Fire Department closing its doors


LOWELL, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Mohawk Valley will soon be without another volunteer fire department, as the Lowell Fire Department shuts its doors.

The reason? Few volunteers and insurance issues are the main concern. Currently, the Lowell Fire Department has only seven members. With that in mind, the Westmoreland Fire District Board of Commissioners has decided now is the best time to consolidate services.

Fire Commissioners say they have met with the Lowell Fire Department's insurance carrier, and they say the department shouldn't be in operation; so few members leave the department open to liability. Commissioners say even if more volunteers joined, New York State requires so much training, it is almost impossible to find the time and money to keep things up to code.

The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department has served the same fire district as Westmoreland.

Acting Director of Oneida County Emergency Services Gerald Pederson said that keeping up with certifications and training members just got to be too much for the tiny department to handle financially.

"There are issues with training," Pederson said. "And documentation for members is getting harder and harder."

All calls for the Westmoreland Fire District will now be automatically dispatched to the Westmoreland Fire Department, and no longer simultaneously dispatched to both Lowell and Westmoreland.

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