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HomeNewsArchivesWATER ISLAND TO GET FIRE PROTECTION, EVENTUALLY

WATER ISLAND TO GET FIRE PROTECTION, EVENTUALLY

May 14, 2001 – Water Island residents have been assured they will get fire services protection on their island. The unanswered question is how soon.
The acting Fire Services director, Ian Williams Sr., and the St. Thomas-Water Island administrator, Louis Hill, spoke to about 20 residents on the small island Saturday about providing the island with some level of protection. The hangup, they said, is identifying resources — namely a fire truck and a tanker — that would have meaningful fire-fighting capability at a major structural fire.
"We do not want to provide a false sense of security to the resident by putting a 250-gallon truck here," Williams said at the meeting of the Water Island Civic Association. "That's nothing when a fire is involved."
Although a predecessor had identified a truck for Water Island, Williams since assuming the post has put the brakes on the process of transferring the truck until an additional tanker can be found for Water Island. "We want to provide a complete service to the residents, not just a token fire truck that in all reality cannot extinguish an involved fire," he said.
As local efforts to secure fire protection for Water Island continue, the U.S. Interior Department is preparing to begin construction on the island this summer of a facility that could be used to house a fire truck and other emergency equipment. Interior is about to begin applying for the necessary permits for the structure, Hill said.
At a recent meeting with federal officials, he said, Interior agreed to fund all costs of getting the permits and constructing the facility. He said it was the Turnbull administration that approached Interior "to consider construction of this building." The facility is to be built "near the area where the old villas were located," he said, and will consist of a garage, an office and living quarters.
Talks are expected to continue between the V.I. government and the Water Island Civic Association about the establishment of a Fire Services presence on the island and how a volunteer squad made up of island residents can share responsibilities with professional firefighters from St. Thomas.

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May 14, 2001 - Water Island residents have been assured they will get fire services protection on their island. The unanswered question is how soon.
The acting Fire Services director, Ian Williams Sr., and the St. Thomas-Water Island administrator, Louis Hill, spoke to about 20 residents on the small island Saturday about providing the island with some level of protection. The hangup, they said, is identifying resources -- namely a fire truck and a tanker -- that would have meaningful fire-fighting capability at a major structural fire.
"We do not want to provide a false sense of security to the resident by putting a 250-gallon truck here," Williams said at the meeting of the Water Island Civic Association. "That's nothing when a fire is involved."
Although a predecessor had identified a truck for Water Island, Williams since assuming the post has put the brakes on the process of transferring the truck until an additional tanker can be found for Water Island. "We want to provide a complete service to the residents, not just a token fire truck that in all reality cannot extinguish an involved fire," he said.
As local efforts to secure fire protection for Water Island continue, the U.S. Interior Department is preparing to begin construction on the island this summer of a facility that could be used to house a fire truck and other emergency equipment. Interior is about to begin applying for the necessary permits for the structure, Hill said.
At a recent meeting with federal officials, he said, Interior agreed to fund all costs of getting the permits and constructing the facility. He said it was the Turnbull administration that approached Interior "to consider construction of this building." The facility is to be built "near the area where the old villas were located," he said, and will consist of a garage, an office and living quarters.
Talks are expected to continue between the V.I. government and the Water Island Civic Association about the establishment of a Fire Services presence on the island and how a volunteer squad made up of island residents can share responsibilities with professional firefighters from St. Thomas.