Fonda’s Fire Dept. to dissolve following February vote - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Fonda’s Fire Dept. to dissolve following February vote

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FONDA, N.Y. -- After 139 years in service, the fire alarms will no longer be heard at the Fonda Fire Department one month after a ruling was made to dissolve the department and outsource emergency services.

A three to one ruling was made in February at a Board of Trustees meeting to abolish the local volunteer fire department.

Firefighters NEWS10 spoke with say that every time they drive through town, the building that once housed the department will remain a sore spot, because none of the men who volunteered wanted to see it dissolved.

For four minutes, from Fultonville to Mohawk, sirens usually reserved for a death in the department blared in recognition of the department's final moments.

"In this case it's the death of the fire department," said former Chief Donald Wagoner who served at the station for the past 21 years. "After being on call for 365, 24 /7, except for when I go on vacation -- there is nothing."

Now, all he has left are the pictures from the last few decades.

"It was really hard to shut the doors," said Wagoner.

"It leaves you with a sense of emptiness like somethings missing," said Asst. Chief Gary Barmen.

Mayor William Peeler told NEWS10 in a previous interview that the cost of maintaining the 139-year old fire department was becoming a burden on the tax payers, citing aging equipment as a primary reason.

Wagoner wishes more residents had voiced their opinion during town meetings. Now he says it's too late as the last gate closes.

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