This weekend-- and perhaps more so for Rusko next weekend -- the beefed up Amherst Fire Department will be put to the test as the Mullins Center hosts back-to-back techno music concerts, well know providers of ETOH calls (alcohol poisoning).
And in the other corner: AFD A3
With 13 professional full-time firefighters on duty, the plan is to staff all six ambulances thus leaving only one firefighter for "station coverage."
And when five ambulances are all tied up carting drunks to Cooley Dickinson Hospital and a call comes in for a 9 month old baby choking or a 92 year old grandmother having a stroke we will all be thankful for that sixth ambulance -- especially if it's your loved one they rescue.
Standing orders are that last ambulance would go to the scene of the emergency without hesitation, and who could argue with that?
The problem is that leaves only one firefighter left to protect the town, who can't do a heck of a lot. Then what happens when the dreadful call come in: "Box Alarm. Three story wood structure. Fully involved".
And, even worse, it's located in deep South Amherst.
Yes, the Student Force based at North Station would respond, as would mutual aid from South Hadley, Belchertown, Hadley and Northampton, but that would take extra time.
And in a major structure fire, time is on the side of the demon.