Despite years of recruitment efforts, Ridgewood has only a skeletal crew of volunteer firefighters. And since so few volunteer ambulance members are available during the day, firefighter EMTs respond to those calls.
Cutting in the area of public safety should be one of the last resorts. There is plenty of spending in this town that should be curtailed first. Buying property and equipment, planning parking garages, etc should be first on the chopping block.
I look at having a paid fire dept the way I look at insurance. You pay for it and hope you never need to use it, but when you do need it you are damn glad you have it. When I remember the Red Cross building fire and the West Side Pres fire, as well as a number of serious house fires, to name just a few, I shudder to think of what may have happened with fewer or volunteer firefighters.And we have a large hospital in this town! The other towns with large hospitals in this area all have paid departments, for good reason!!!
Also, keep in mind that many of the services that our FD provides, such as help pumping out flooded basements and some educational fire prevention programs, would not be provided by a smaller or volunteer dept.
The cost savings would be small and the potential problems would be large. I really feel messing with the fire dept is a big mistake.