Nasonville fire station reopens under banner of East Burrillville District

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Members of the East Burrillville Fire District, from left, are firefighter/EMT Madison McCutcheon, Capt. Richard Jalette, Lt. Dennis Foster and Chief Joseph Bertholic. NRI NOW photo by Sandy Hall

BURRILLVILLE – The lights are now on seven days a week, and staff with the East Burrillville Fire District stands ready to take calls in a village fire station that sat closed for more than five years.

The Nasonville fire station was reopened this week and will be staffed every day from 7 a.m. to 5 pm. under the new, “East Burrillville,” banner.

The Victory Highway station closed in 2018 after residents voted to dissolve the village district, with the Nasonville operations to consolidate with the neighboring Oakland Mapleville Fire Department. OMFD provided service to the village in the interim, with emergency response covering some 22 square-miles of town.

After a long, legal process two districts became one and the East Burrillville Fire District was born last July, but staff and equipment remained in Oakland Mapleville – until now.

East Burrillville Fire Chief Joseph Bertholic said reopening the station will help to bring down response times and help all town departments cut down on their number of runs.

“It’s been so busy in town that the rescues can’t keep up some days,” Bertholic said.

The district hired eight new firefighter/EMTS to help staff the station at 2577 Victory Highway, which officially reopened on Monday, April 1, with two people, seven days a week. First opened in 1965, the station had a new roof installed last summer, a project that had started just before its sudden closure several years back.

“The building is in good shape,” Bertholic said.

The staff inside has already gone on several calls, providing mutual aid and support as well outside of Nasonville.

“We used to have both trucks go at the same time, so we’d have four people, so we’ve been doing that again,” Bertholic said. “We’ve been busy.”

Outside, above the old Nasonville sign, the chief said a new sign will soon be installed with the East Burrillville moniker, letting residents know which department now serves the area.

“I want to get the name out there so people aren’t confused when they get their tax bill,” he said.

He notes that Nasonville residents had a significant jump in their taxes following the recent consolidation, and that he hopes that opening the station shows villagers that they are still a priority in the new organization.

“It shows Nasonville taxpayers that they are valued,” he said.

It should also decrease the time it takes firefighter/EMTs to get to calls – particularly to homes at the farther edge of town such as parts of Buxton Street or at the far end of Log Road. Traveling from the former OMFD station on Oakland School Street, Bertholic noted, could take 7 to 8 minutes to some parts of Nasonville.

The chief noted that rebranding firefighter clothing and apparatus under the larger East Burrillville district, which now serves roughly 8,500 homes, is still underway. Trucks mostly have new decals, but some shirts and jackets remain from the now past era of Oakland Mapleville’s service.

“It’s a work in progress,” Bertholic said of operating the second station. “We’re going to tweak things as we go along.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Nice to hear that OMFD and it’s taxpayers are no longer footing the bill for the Nasonville residents who didn’t want to pay for a fire department. Mutual aid my a**…there is nothing mutual about one side giving 100% and the other giving 0%.

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