Sept. 7, 2004 For members of the Northside Civic Organization, who have long been petitioning for the reopening of the Dorothea Fire Station, satisfaction could come as early as Monday.
Acting Fire Chief Glenn Francis said Tuesday that the Dorothea Fire Station could open as early as Monday of next week.
"Yes, it will definitely be reopening this month," Francis said. "We still have some final adjustments to be made, but it will reopen."
Francis said the V.I. Fire Service was waiting for the graduation of its current training class on Friday before finalizing the opening date of the station. Eighteen individuals are currently taking firefighting training and two individuals are taking emergency medical technician training with the Fire Service.
Four individuals will man the station per shift, Francis said. The trainees are necessary for that to be accomplished.
The Dorothea facility is the only fire station on the North Side. It reopened in June 2002 after having been closed for three and a half years and having undergone extensive renovations. However, within a year, it closed again.
At the time, Fire Service officials said the action was taken after several firefighters retired and five others in the V.I. National Guard were called to active duty in Iraq. (See "Fire Concerns Ignored, Group to Plan Strategy")
"The Northside Civic Organization is just thrilled that this is coming to fruition," Ann Durante-Arnold, Northside Civic Organization president, said after hearing the news Tuesday. "It has been a long battle, but we're glad to see it open."
Arnold said the opening of the station was one of the main priorities of the organization. "Hopefully, they'll keep it open and keep the residents out of harm's way," Arnold said.
Jason Budsan, also a member of the Northside Civic Organization, said he was just pleased when he called Fire Service Director Merwin Potter and was told of the station's reopening.
"We hope that monies will be realized for the West End residents, so that they can get emergency services in their area as well," Budsan said.
The West End residents have been without a fire station for several years as well.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice… click here.