I write in rebuttal to the May 6 letter, "NL should next return to volunteer firefighters." Volunteer firefighters are fading fast across the country and are certainly not the solution to New London's budget woes. It is a fact that many of our neighboring communities are volunteer-based with small numbers of career staff, but it is blatantly obvious New London is not East Lyme, Waterford, Montville, or Ledyard. The only city remotely similar to your mentioned New London is Norwich, which coincidentally is trying to expand its career staff.
New London is a small city land-area wise, but with a population density of 4,895 per square mile and a large portion of the housing stock consisting of tightly packed, old, multi-family dwellings, making us more similar to New Haven or Providence than Waterford. The unreliability of an even partially volunteer force could spell disaster for entire city blocks.
New London's professional firefighters are always here for us in any fire, rescue, or EMS situation without hesitation and should not be cut. If things are going so well in Ledyard, I suggest the letter writer live there and leave our proud fire department out of this.