Tisbury cuts ribbon on new $6.8 million ESF building

Cutting the ribbon with a firefighter's axe Sunday was from left to right: Chris Cini, emergency management director; Tracy Jones, ambulance coodinator; selectman Tristan Israel, board chairman; Joe Tierney, building committee chairman; Russell Maciel, assistant chief; Jim Rogers, assistant chief; Darren Welch, firefighter. At rear is Chief John Schilling. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Tisbury officials, members of the ambulance and fire services and their families, and Island residents celebrated the official opening of the new emergency services facility (ESF) building with a ribbon cutting and open house on Sunday.

The newly constructed building on West Spring Street, across from the Tisbury School, houses the fire, ambulance/emergency medical services, and emergency management departments in one spacious 18,000-square-foot municipal building.

The building is dedicated to the town’s emergency responders. A brass plaque affixed to the building includes the inscription, “This building is dedicated to those who serve and volunteer in emergency services for the residents of and visitors to the town of Tisbury.”

“It went fantastic,” Fire chief John Schilling said from his new office Monday afternoon. “It was a beautiful afternoon. We were thrilled to welcome the community in and had tremendous positive feedback.”

Mr. Schilling said many of the visitors enjoyed looking at the historical photos on the walls which provide a tangible link to the town’s past.

He said issues with the building remain but those would be worked out between town officials and the contractor. “It’s a great space and we are getting very used to the space,” he said. “It’s a bright building, warm and welcoming.”

The change in atmosphere from the cramped, dimly lit former fire station to the new station located across from the schoolyard of the Tisbury School could not be more stark. The sounds of children playing and school visits have replaced the sound of traffic on State Road.

“It’s just so positive,” Mr. Schilling said.