Wareham Fire not interested in Minot Ave. Public Safety Complex

Aug 29, 2020

The Wareham Fire District would not be interested in being part of a public safety complex on Minot Avenue, but one at the Decas School site is a possibility, Fire Chief Matt Rowley said at a meeting with the Public Safety Complex Committee meeting this week.

The committee is working on creating a proposal for a new public safety complex that would house the Wareham Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, and, potentially, other town departments like the Department of Natural Resources or Animal Control.

The group has focused on looking at potential sites already owned by the town and has identified two promising locations: a large parcel of land between the Brandy Hill and Depot Crossing Apartments on Minot Avenue and the site of the current John W. Decas School, which is set to close at the end of 2021. The committee has yet to look at privately owned sites that the town could potentially purchase.

The meeting with the fire district was set to gauge the district’s interest in sharing a building or a campus-style site with the project.

“The Minot Ave. property doesn’t  work for us, period,” Rowley said. He explained that the location is at the very edge of the territory the department is responsible for, and basing the department there would increase response times. He also noted that the department responds to the Rte. 195/25/495 interchanges at least three times a week, and those are significantly further from Minot Avenue than from the department’s current headquarters on Main Street.

Rowley said that the Decas School location could work for the district, as it has good access to the highway, but added that the district would only be interested in sharing a site, bit not sharing a building with the police department.

Asked whether the fire district might be interested in purchasing the site of the current police station on Cranberry Highway, Rowley said it all depends on the cost.

“I might get laughed off the stage if I request it,” he joked.

Another committee member pointed out that the site might not be big enough for the fire district’s needs.

Rowley said he is interested in working with the committee on creating an Emergency Operations Center.
The EOC is a location designed to accommodate all the public safety organizations in town along with utility companies in the case of a severe storm, hurricane, or other large-scale situation that would require coordinated emergency responses.