This winter my wife and I have had major cellar flooding issues because our sump pump wasn’t working. These problems occurred in the middle of the night, and we called various plumbers when the water level was about eight inches, but couldn’t find a plumber willing to come over. Each time we then called the Suffield Fire Department, and they came within a matter of minutes. A department lieutenant and two volunteers pumped out our basement and gave us time to find a plumber to come and repair our pump.
If you have appreciable water in your basement and it is the middle of the night, the likelihood of getting someone to come immediately is very slim. Whoever does come stands at the top of your cellar stairs and surveys a cellar with major flooding and the water level rising. To simply put in a temporary pump to empty your cellar and then to leave the pump with you until the cellar dries is a matter of several hours. Years ago, when plumbers still made house calls in the middle of the night, we paid more than a thousand dollars to a plumber to come and fix our pump on an emergency basis.
The three firemen who came left wet and dirty, but they charged us nothing.
In February’s Observer, Jane Shipp wrote about the town’s efficient snow removal program. My letter deals with a homeowner’s flooded basement and the fire department’s responsiveness to that. What an extraordinary gift to the town.