Volunteer Resignations Concern Conn. Dept.

TORRINGTON, Conn. --

In a town with 58 full time firefighters covering five districts, John Field, Torringtons fire chief, said he doesn't feel the resignation of about 14 volunteers earlier this week will hamper the department's ability to respond to calls.

It was a little bit of a surprise to us, and it is a little bit of a concern, but we've been assured by the acting chief that the response won't be affected and we're pretty comfortable, said Field.

The volunteers are from District Three on the east side of the city where the volume of calls, traffic, and building has been steadily increasing. Its an area the full- time department has been considering for the location of paid firefighters.

We still have plenty of people to man both our apparatus to respond to fire calls, Field said.

Jim Newkirk, the acting chief of the volunteer department, said resignations came as a result of a number of members having trouble meeting the required number of calls, meetings, and drills.

It's unfortunate because although we only lost four line firefighters, we lost some good associate members who had a lot of good skills as far as grant writing and fundraising goes, Newkirk said.

A meeting on Thursday will be held to assess the impact of the resignations and to formulate a plan going forward.

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