The Cumberland Fire Department is better off today as one combined district than it was years ago as four separate ones, say some fire officials, and they contend that financial numbers prove it.
District Finance Director Diane Karolyshyn, at a June 26 meeting to update Fire Board members, said her in-depth analysis of the four separate districts and the combined district, with 4-percent average tax rate increases built in for each over the past four years, adds up to a merger savings of about $3.73 million.
But Commissioners Paul Santoro and Jim Scullin disputed that the district is in a good position, Santoro saying the numbers presented by Karolyshyn and former Chairman Bruce Lemois were “pie in the sky."
Valley Breeze Papers
Recent research has shown that firefighters have a higher risk of being diagnosed with certain types of cancer. This week, President Donald Trump signed into law an order requiring the creation of a voluntary registry to collect data on cancer incidence among firefighters.
Paul Doughty, a Providence firefighter on the city's squad of arson investigators, and the president of the city's chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters union said Wednesday he's excited to see fire departments getting help tracking the issue.
Doughty's hope is that a correlation can be found, better treatment can follow, and one day, firefighters might be prevented from getting some cancers that could potentially have been exacerbated while they were fighting fires.
Paul Santoro, a first-term commissioner with the Cumberland Fire District and former challenger to Rep. Mia Ackerman in House District 45, covering Cumberland and Lincoln, entered a misdemeanor Alford plea to assault and battery charges in Superior Court Tuesday.
Santoro had been facing felony charges related to accusations he shoved a firefighter into a hot grill last fall.
An Alford plea is a no contest plea of a defendant who proclaims he is innocent of the crime, and differs from the standard nolo contendre (no contest) plea in that it doesn’t state that there are sufficient findings of guilt, according to Santoro’s attorney, John Harwood.
Valley Breeze Papers
A fire broke out at a Providence home Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities said flames erupted at a house on California Avenue.
NBC 10 News was told the fire started with a mattress in a bedroom.
Arson investigators were at the scene.
While no one was hurt five adults and one child have been displaced.
The residents are now receiving assistance from the Red Cross.
WJAR-TV NBC 10 Providence