A nonprofit organization headed by former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block says data show Rhode Island spends too much on fire protection and should consolidate its services.
Block unveiled the data Tuesday, saying Watchdog RI spent about 500 hours researching how fire protection costs in the state compare to other states.
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Block says Rhode Island has too many fire stations — 158 — including 31 stations within five miles of Pawtucket.
He says urban areas in Rhode Island spend more than $300 million annually on fire protection, more than is spent in more densely populated places including Dallas, Phoenix and Fairfax County, Virginia.
The group says it is trying to gather data on how the volume of rescue and fire calls in Rhode Island compares to other states.