, Salem, MA


January 28, 2013

Our view: Boosting Wenham Fire Department makes sense

The town of Wenham has grown in recent years, and in a good way. At the same time, the availability of its on-call firefighters has been on the wane.

So a recent study suggesting that the town increase the Fire Department chief’s job to full time (from 30 hours a week) and hire another full-time firefighter seems to make sense.

Fire Chief Robert Blanchard said many of the town’s on-call firefighters live and work outside town, or have professional obligations that limit their availability. At times, the fire station is unstaffed during some peak hours and holidays.

“Our biggest concern is our response time is getting longer, and the number of on-call responders continues to drop,” Blanchard said.

In addition to boosting the chief’s hours and adding a full-timer, the study by Blanchard and other town officials suggests developing shifts for call firefighters to maximize station coverage, especially during late afternoon and early evening.

The proposed changes would cost the town about $113,000, which the study suggests could be made up from $40,000 in savings from joining the regional dispatch center, $35,000 in lieu of taxes from Gordon College and $20,000 from the Penguin Hall development.

Town Administrator Mark Andrews said he has included his proposal in the budget for the next fiscal year. On April 6, Town Meeting voters should give it their support.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate