Jun 30, 2015 9:29 PM

Community rallies behind closing Derry fire station with clap out


DERRY - The Hampstead Road Fire Station in Derry will close Wednesday due to budget cuts, but not before a big show of support from the community.

Dozens showed their support for the firefighters who will soon report to a different fire house by attending a clap out Tuesday evening.

“We weren’t really sure what to expect, the outpouring of support has been tremendous,” said Chief Michael Gagnon.

Parents brought their children to meet the firefighters and play on the trucks.

Many wore ribbons in support of their town services, despite being unhappy with last month’s budget vote.

The station closing is one of many cuts made in an effort to lower taxes.

But some residents said the 30 or so dollars they’ll save a month isn’t worth cutting so many police and fire positions.

A timely retirement means the department won’t have to lay anyone off, but they’ll still be short-staffed.

“We were budgeted for 16 personnel each shift, fiscal year 16 we’re going to be budgeted for 14 personnel each shift,” Chief Gagnon said.

The firefighters will work out of the Central Station.

Residents in East Derry said they’ll keep fighting for their station.

A petition with more than 800 signatures calls for the council to overturn their vote or send it to a special election.

The Town Council is expected to be updated on the status of the petition at their next meeting on Tuesday, July 7th.

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