Beacon to start firehouse consolidations

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Photo by Scott Harrison

BEACON — The Beacon City Council has decided to consolidate its three firehouses down to two.

The historic Beacon Engine firehouse will cease operations as the city has made the decision to invest in modernization of Tompkins Hose off of Route 9D and Mase Hook & Ladder on Main Street.

Currently, the city owns the newer one-third of the Beacon Engine building, with the rest being owned by the private Beacon Engine Fire Company. However, the city has been expending funds for decades to maintain these portions. 

Mayor Lee Kyriacou said consolidating facilities makes the most sense. “If you want the community to be safe, we should be moving from three down to two and probably at some point down to one. Every study we’ve had has said that a city of this size is best served in a consolidated fashion,” he said. “We already operate that way during the day. All of our fire trucks and career firefighters are at a single location during the day because we think that is the best solution.”

The decision was reached after an analysis from the engineering firm Tri Data and the Beacon Fire Department showed that all Beacon career firefighters operate out of the Tompkins Hose firehouse during the day, and that the renewed investment would ultimately exceed guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association.

Additionally, the 130-year-old Beacon Engine firehouse cannot properly accommodate modern guidelines, which would make upgrades costly. The firehouse only stations one active volunteer firefighter, compared to 20 in the 1990s. 

“It’s just easier to say that’s the one we need to let go,” said Kyriacou. “We’ll work with the volunteer fire company since we own a third to figure out how best to use the building and to honor the service of the of the company.