After voting to disband fire department, Copenhagen officials vow to keep residents safe

Copenhagen fire department helmet.
Copenhagen fire department helmet.(Source: WWNY)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:47 AM EDT
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COPENHAGEN, New York (WWNY) - Copenhagen officials say they’re working “diligently” to replace the fire department the village board voted to disband it last week.

In a statement, officials say they’ve been in talks with another fire department that would to cover the village.

“We want to assure you that every measure has been taken to protect every resident,” the statement said.

Officials say they’re working to secure a building within the village for the other department to work out of.

Apparatus for in-village firefighting would be stored there.

Officials would not say where the building is or what department they’re in talks with, except that it has many volunteers who live within two miles of the village.

They say they’ve also been approached by many people who say they want to volunteer with the other department.

This comes almost a week after the village voted to abolish its own fire department. The department hadn’t responded by a deadline to either disband or turn over control to the village.

Village officials were concerned that they could be held liable for the department’s actions. A state audit of the department’s 2020 books showed $27,000 in payments with “inadequate documentation.”

Residents have 30 days from the village board’s action to abolish the department to file a petition to bring the matter to a public vote.

Supporters need the names of 20% of the 134 people who voted in the last general election. That comes to 27 signatures.