Board of Fire Engineers’ Meeting
March 30, 2012
ATTENDANCE: Toby Tyler, Peter Shattuck, John Rose (left at 3:15 p.m.), Milt Blood
Peter distributed a copy of a letter he received from 3 Firefighter/EMTs. They have dual membership and the letter states they will no longer be members of EMS Company effective March 9, 2012. Toby advised the EMS Captain has not received resignation letters from the individuals and is not aware they have resigned.
The Firefighter/EMTs feel they are being treated differently from the fulltime personnel by not being able to take a fire truck to a call when they are on call for the EMS. Recently one of the fulltime EMTs took a truck rather than an ambulance to a structure fire call and he has apologized for his mistake.
The Engineers discussed the concerns expressed in the letter. Peter said he does not remember the rules about F91 needing to turn in his portable because he cannot take call time. Toby said some FF/EMTs have portables that do not take call time and hence, don’t need the equipment and will be told to return it. F91 has not been asked to return his portable; in fact, he is back on Thursday call time.
While Peter agrees with some of what is said in the letter, he said the Engineers have said if you are on call for EMS that is the first priority. Toby said they have more help at night than during the day on the fire side and that is why one of the full timers is allowed to take the truck if necessary and one has to take the ambulance. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the third person does not come on until noon. All Units are toned during the weekday.
Peter does not think the FF/EMTs want to get off; they just don’t want to be treated differently from the full timers. Milt said while he was Captain, some firefighters were getting EMT certification and he had one of these firefighters taking EMS call time when he was on call for Engine Company. He agrees day and night coverage are two different animals and they are better covered at night for fire calls.
Toby said Jim will not be able to commit to as many hours as he does now when he retires. Peter said they looked into “bending the rules” for two EMS personnel who cannot fully commit to the required hours. He feels it would be a big loss to lose these three and he would like it uniform across the board. Toby advised one is stepping up and the other has resigned, and Greg will be resigning as well, from EMS Company. Both Greg and Dave will do Paramedic per diem hours.
Toby said they have a schedule to fill but these FF/EMTs do not want to take call time because there might be a fire call while they are on EMS time. It is important to get the ambulance to the call and the individual(s) could be released from the ambulance if another EMT shows up. He said he can even turn command over to another Engineer and be the second EMT.
Milt agrees the ambulance needs to be there and suggested they tone for any available EMTs to respond to a confirmed structure fire. He questioned whether having dual membership is a good idea and Toby said it is and having the ambulance is just as important as having the fire truck. Milt said the ambulance has to be available day and night and as an Engineer, he won’t be backed against a wall. He said the Engineers do run the department and they have done things to make it better. Peter said they need to come up with something tighter and they need to be clear call time means being responsible for the ambulance until relieved by another EMT.
Peter said the firefighter/EMTs don’t seem to know what they signed up for and wondered if there should be a form for any firefighter/EMT to sign acknowledging that they are responsible for the ambulance when they take call time. Toby said being a FF/EMT is a big responsibility. The individuals should have gone to their Captain or Lieutenant with the letter.
If the three individuals resign, Toby said the department will not pay for their recertification since they are required to put in hours. Firefighter/EMTs will not get per diem if they do not put in hours.
It was agreed the three individuals will be asked to come to the next Officers meeting.
The Ladies Auxiliary will be at Monday’s meeting to talk about their role in the Department.
Toby has “use it/lose it” vacation time and will be off April 13th and the week of April 15th.
Dana has a 52”-60” projection screen he will donate to Jersey Street
Effective July 1st, Toby advised Medic One will no longer be in Townsend since they cannot afford to run it. They will have the ambulance and it will cost $275 to intercept, $127.50 to treat and release in Pepperell and there is no charge if they are cancelled on their way here. Townsend is going to be doing two squads, with 10 members on each squad, a week at a time and have two people fulltime around the clock.
The price of a new copier is $79.99 a month.
The meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.