Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, Inc.
Minutes of August 20 , 2008 – The Chateau Norton
Chief Richard Gomes– Host Chief
FOR MEMBERS ONLY – NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION
Regular Monthly Meeting called to order at 10:12 AM by Chief Tom Coulombe – 1 VP
Opening prayer - Chief Kenneth Willette – Concord – he mentioned the following:
Retired Fire Chief Thomas Nagle of Georgetown
Retired Fire Chief Francis Hartin of Wayland
Mary Mullaly the mother of Chief John Mullaly of Millville
David Blanchard Retired Fire Chaplain North Andover Fire
Bruce D. Kinlin – father in law of Speaker of the House – Sal DiMasi
Remembrance for the residents of the Town of Mashpee at the loss of Marine Daniel
McGuire, who died in Iraq and Private First Class Connelly who died in Afghanistan.
Pledge of Allegiance – led by Chief Coulombe
Approval of Previous Minutes: The minutes of the meeting of the June 19 - Springfield were
emailed to the membership prior to the meeting and copies were available at the registration
table. A motion was made to accept the minutes of the FCAM meeting of June 19 as provided.
There was no discussion on the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Chief Coulombe reported on Communications from the President
Chief Coulombe spoke on the following items:
Due to the change in the E-911 legislation FCAM has lost one representative on
that Board. Prior to the change, FCAM had three representatives. Now we have two
and they must be active Fire Chiefs. Chief George Parrott, Retired, who has served
on the E-911 Board since its inception will no longer be on the Board. Chief
Ostroskey, a current member of the Board, asked that the membership recognize
Chief Parrott for his faithful and diligent service representing FCAM. The
membership gave Chief Parrott an ovation
A meeting is scheduled for September 25, 2 PM at DFS in Room 501 – the trailer for
the FCAM subcommittee comprised of Chief Ostroskey, Chief Stroble and Marshall
Coan regarding the Criminal History Systems Board.
There is an invitation to the President to attend the Shriners Hospital for Children 40
anniversary event at Fenway Park on Sunday – September 7 .
The 2 Annual Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters ceremony will take place on
Thursday – September 11 at 6:00 PM at Ashburton Park at the State House –
Uniform of the Day is Class A with hat and gloves. The ceremony takes place rain or
Chief Kevin Gallagher of Acushnet sent a notice that the Board of Building
Regulations and Standards (BBRS) will review and make recommendations
regarding the modular void space problem that was recognized during a fire in
Acushnet at their September 9 meeting.
A letter was received from the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighter Association
(MCVFA) notifying FCAM that they are planning to conduct a statewide call/volunteer
firefighter recruitment program in early 2009. The MCVFA was given a grant to
conduct this recruitment effort. They have been working with the FCAM call volunteer
committee and any questions relating to this matter can be sent to our Co-Chairs on
our committee Chief Roy Jones of Brewster and Chief Jim Broderick of Rowley.
A draft of proposed emergency fire and ambulance fees has been received from
Chief James Dolan of Warren through our Highway Coordinated Response
Committee. The last time the fees were revised was in 1991. Chief Coulombe read
the proposed fees. The fees will be posted on the website for the membership. Input
and comments should be sent by September so that the Association can work with
the Turnpike Authority on revising these fees.
Chief Coulombe asked Chief Gallagher to provide an update on the Modular Home void space
issue that will be discussed at the BBRS.
Chief Gallagher – Acushnet – provided the membership an overview of the fire he experienced
last January in a two year old – two story modular home. After the fire they discovered a void
space that is created when the first and second floors are joined. This void space is 22” high
running the length of the structure. The adhesive used to join the two floors was also tested by
Worcester Polytechnic Institute and found to be highly flammable polyurethane foamed based
glue. This adhesive is in the void space. The Chief sent his findings to the BBRS and they in
turn sent a survey to the modular home companies doing business in Massachusetts. They will
utilize the responses from this survey in their review. Chief Gallagher stated that after the fire in
his community, he was not aware if this was an isolated incident or a national trend but there is
no national data collection for modular home fires, so he conducted the investigation and
forwarded the results to the Marshall’s Office and to the BBRS. There was a second similar fire
in Hanson in September built by the same modular construction company. The builder was
Superior Homes of Muncy – Pennsylvania. The Bristol County Fire Chiefs are preparing a
training Power Point presentation that will be shared with the Massachusetts fire service.
Chief Coulombe asked Chief Roy Jones to give an update on the Mass. Call/Volunteer
Association recruitment effort.
Chief Jones stated that some Chiefs may be receiving letters from the MCVFA about the cable
TV program that they will be running. In many areas they cannot run the ad specifically in those
communities that have call and volunteer firefighters so the ad may run in communities that do
not have call and volunteer firefighters. The President of the MCVA is meeting with the FCAM
Call/Volunteer Committee at the September meeting to talk about working together. Chief Jones
stated that, although he has not seen the ads, he understands that they will be focused on
Chief Coulombe read an email from Chief Ed O’Brien of Holbrook – Chair of the Statewide
Mobilization Committee regarding a training session that will be held in conjunction with DFS for
the District Coordinators.
Chief Roy Jones noted that Chief Kevin Partridge and the Department of Fire Services have
been great at putting this program together. The district coordinators are being contacted by the
Regional Coordinators to get this information out on this training, which is about a one and a half
hour program. Part of the program is for all Fire Chiefs and the other part is for Fire Chiefs who
are either Strike Team or Task Force leaders. He advised Chiefs to respond, as soon as possible
if they are contacted about this training. He also noted that portable radios will be issued to Task
Chief Coulombe noted that part of the discussion by the Mobilization Committee was the
proposed creation of “Storm Units” as part of the Strike Teams or Task Forces. This was
discussed at the Board of Directors meeting and will be further discussed at the next regular
Board of Directors meeting in September. If Fire Chiefs have questions or concerns on this
matter they should bring it to their District Director to bring to the Board of Directors. Chief
O’Brien also sent an email that the Department of Conservation and Resources (DCR) repeater
system may not be capable of meeting our demands should we need to use the DCR repeaters
for mobilization activation. Chief Jones reported that about two years ago – MEMA put up a
repeater radio system in the same locations that DCR has their repeaters. This was done without
licensure and some of it is not complete. That system is now being taken down. DCR and
MEMA are talking. MEMA will be implementing their radio program, which is a completely
separate system from the DCR system, as a direct radio program within the next two or three
months. MEMA is not using the DCR channels for anything other than the mobilization plan.
A letter was received from Metro Fire that they are nominating Chief Frank Giliberti of
Medford to replace Chief David Parr on the Massachusetts Fire Training Council due to Chief
Chief Kevin Robinson 2 Vice President spoke on the following issues:
Chief Robinson spoke about committees and vacancies on committees and the ongoing work
he is doing:
Vacancies exist on several important committees –
o The Constitution and By-Law Committee has two openings
o The Fire Protection/Fire Prevention Committee – a subcommittee working under the
Board of Building Regulations and Standards has one vacancy and Chief Hoyle is
willing to fill that for one year. If you have an interest in this committee please notify
Chief Robinson and the Secretary Treasurer
o The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, which works with the Fire Prevention
Code 527 CMR there are openings on the following subcommittees:
527 CMR 40 – Water Based Extinguishing Systems – Chief Kevin Gallagher
of Acushnet has volunteered to serve on that committee.
527 CMR 32 – Smoke Detectors – they are now dealing with the issue of
photoelectric vs. ionization smoke detectors – Chief Charles Cloutier of
Charlton is now on this committee.
527 CMR 33 – Chemical Safety Process – three Chiefs have an interest –
Chief William Whynot of Auburn – Chief David Grunes of Bedford and Chief
Ed O’Brien of Holbrook. Chief Dio will select one of these Chiefs to serve on
The addition of these Chiefs to these committees will be taken up at the
September meeting of the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations
Anyone interested in serving on subcommittees of the Board of Fire
Prevention Regulations because of interest or past background or
experience in the specific area, contact Chief Robinson and he will keep a list
of Chiefs who are willing to serve.
Overall FCAM currently has 37 committees. It is believed that some of these committees are
no longer active. A plan has been developed whereby each Director will have two
committees to contact, identify the charge of that committee, identify how active the
committee has been, does the committee need to be expanded, can the committee be
combined with some other committee or can the committee be eliminated. The Directors will
work on this each month to define the necessary committees.
He has been working with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network for a fall seminar. A
confirmed date is pending but it should be in late October. Some of the things which would
be covered are the frequency of cancer in firefighters, prescreening, what early diagnosis can
do, what are the options, what can the Fire Chief do when a firefighter gives notice that they
Regarding the question of whether the IRC can pay for the travel and lodging for the ICC
conference in Minnesota. He has spoken with the Ethics Commission and they referenced
930 CMR 5:05 where the process of disclosure is explained. Those receiving the money
need to notify the appointing authority in writing and explain the purpose of your trip and fill
out the Form 14 from the CMR.
Chief Robinson recognized Chief Timothy Travers who was attending his last FCAM meeting
as an active Fire Chief. Chief Travers has been a member of FCAM for over twenty years,
served two terms as President of the Association. He took over from Chief Grenno and is
being replaced by Chief Grenno’s son. A standing ovation was provided for Chief Travers.
Chief Travers introduced Chief Grenno stating that this is a dream come true for both of him
and the new Chief.
Chief Coulombe reported that the Association had received an email from Chief Ray Godin of
Turners Falls requesting review of the method used in the distribution of the Firefighter Safety
Grant. The Executive Board has a meeting scheduled on August 26 at DFS at 2PM to discuss
this matter. Chief Coulombe asked for input from the floor on this matter. Chief Godin stated
that he would like to attend this meeting to discuss this ongoing situation. Marshal Coan stated
that the Grant Applications would be out in September. Chief Coulombe invited Chief Godin to
attend that meeting as are any other Chiefs with concerns regarding the formula’s used for
distribution of funds to Cities and Towns vs. Fire Districts.
Treasurer’s Report: Chief Dolan reported on the period from 1 July 2008 through 31 July
2008. Total expenses in July were $3,403.96 total income was $1,200 Net ordinary income for
the month of July -$2,203.96. Total financial Assets of the Association are $356,741.91 of which
$210,943.20 is available for general use. Of that there was $547.86 received in July as interest
on accounts and there is $98,550.11 in the legal defense fund accounts. A motion was made to
accept the report as given and seconded. There was no discussion and the motion passed
Communications from the Secretary
Chief Dolan reported on the following:
Thank you card from the Nothe family for the flowers sent to the wake of Stephen Kline
the father–in-law of Chief Nothe.
Thank you card from the family of Ruth Hamel, mother of Retired Fire Chief John Hamel
of Haverhill for the flowers sent to her wake.
Thank you from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for the $500 donation to the
annual golf tournament.
Thank you from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – the Jimmy Fund for $200 donation during
their 100% match program period.
Thank your from Taylor Dimmick, son of Associate member Dave Dimmick for the $100
donation to assist him in participating in “People to People” program.
Chief Dave Jardin raised $4,387 this year in support of his 192 mile ride in the Pan Mass
Challenge. This is Dave’s highest amount raised. In five years Dave has raised
$20,290+ for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Chief Dolan provided an update on the status of the new website. The Board voted that
we complete the second half of our financial agreement with Montague Webworks and
pay the balance due for their work. It is hoped that the new website will be on line by
September. The web address is the same www.fcam.org. We are working with vendors
who advertise in the newsletter to insure that they do not loose anything in terms of
advertising or money because of the transition. The Board voted to support the
recommendation that the newsletter “The Inside Line” in its current form will terminate
with the November issue which comes out at the end of October. Those members who
do not have email will be receiving a hard copy of the minutes of the meetings on plain
white paper without advertising or added items. The information that is currently in the
newsletter will be posted on the new website.
The September meeting in Sandwich at Hemisphere’s is the annual clam bake and the
cost of the meal for active and associate members is $57.00 and $50 for life and retired
members of the association.
Applications for membership:
The following applications have been approved by the Board of Directors and are presented to
the general membership for in the Association:
Chief William Phelon replaces Chief Tom Kane -fWestfield as of 28 July 08 –
recommended by Chief Tom Kane
Chief Christopher Olsen – replaces Chief Paul Frazier – Cotuit – recommended by Chief
Chief Paul E. Flannagan – replaces chief Joseph Larry Powers – Winthrop –
recommended by Chief Malcolm Larson
Chief Joseph J. Cuneo – replaces Chief Tom Reidy – New Salem – recommended by
Chief John Franco – Berkley – recommended by Chief Robert Pray
Chief Michael A. McLaughlin – Stow – recommended by Chief Willette
Chief Timothy J. Grenno – replaces Chief Timothy Travers – Whitman – recommended
by Chief Travers.
Chief Thomas Francesconi – replaces Chief George P. Sweet – Cheshire -
recommended by Chief George Sweet
Chief Michael Anderson – Georgetown - recommended by Chief James Broderick
A motion was made and seconded to grant membership to all of those Chiefs approved by the
Board of Directors as just read by the Secretary. There was a second. There was no discussion
on the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
The new Chiefs that were present were asked to stand and be recognized and the membership
gave those present an ovation. New members were reminded by Chief Coulombe to check with
Chief Dolan at the meetings to obtain their pocket badge, which is now provided by the
Association, but can only be obtained during attendance at a meeting.
Reports of Standing Committees
Strategic Plan - Chief Tom Coulombe noted that 100 bound copies of the final version of FCAM
Strategic Plan had been printed and were available at the registration table.
Professional Development Conference - the planning has started for the 11, 12, 13 February
2009 conference to be held at the Four Points Sheraton in Leominster. Any comments or
suggestions should be sent to Chief Coulombe in the next few weeks.
Chief Robert DiPoli – Government Affairs Director
Chief DiPoli is on vacation but had emailed the following information:
Ken Donnelly was a Fire Lieutenant in Lexington and served as the Secretary of the
PFFM and sat as a member of PERAC the retirement board. He has been a friend of this
Association for many years. He ran for the Senate against Representative Marsilli and
lost by a narrow margin. Marsilli who is now in trouble and will be stepping down and Ken
will run again. Ken is seeking our help and we have made a donation to his campaign
from the PAC fund. Chief DiPoli asked for the Chiefs to send a check, even if it is a small
amount to show that he has the support of the Fire Chiefs. Spike Lawless of Cambridge
is the campaign manager. The address to send a contribution is:
P.O. Box 74
Billerica, MA 01821
The communities in this Senate District are: Arlington, Burlington, Lexington, and Woburn. If you
know people that live in these communities, call them and ask them to vote for Ken Donnelly.
The PAC fund starting balance - $4,195.33 - deposits $250 interest paid .85 - withdrawals
$475 - ending balance $3971.18. That amount must take us through mid January when
the request for PAC donations goes out again. There are a lot of requests received for
funding in the fall.
The legislative session is over for this year ending July 31 . There was not a lot of good
news. The Harkins-Balser Bill did not pass due to politics, which affected the bill. It is
rumored that there was an email campaign by building officials in opposition to this
sprinkler bill and a group call BOMAR – Boston Owners Manager and Realtors. Chief
DiPoli noted that rarely will the legislature take sides in a battle between Public Safety
entities. He recommended moving forward to have discussion with the opponents. The
Chemical Safety Bill never made it out of Ways and Means, nor did the Fire Chief
credentialing bill. There was opposition to the credentialing bill and there was opposition
from some Fire Chiefs. Group 4 for DFS employees was sent to PERAC for study the
impact and no report was issued from PERAC. The climate right now for any
enhancement to pensions is dismal. The Capital Bond Bill passed and authorized the
borrowing for Western Fire Academy; it did not authorize the money to start the project.
The Legislative committee will be soliciting ideas from the 15 fire districts and from
Marshal Coan. Those ideas will be discussed by the Legislative Committee and then
taken to the Executive Board for more discussion.
The CFSI dinner is April 1, 2, 3. The breakfast is on April 2 , followed by a wreath laying
at Arlington National Cemetery and the CFSI dinner is that evening. Chief Dolan has
attained a block of rooms for FCAM and we need to reserve early and get dinner tickets
early through Chief Dolan. Information on how to reserve the rooms will be emailed
State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan
The Marshal spoke on the following items:
There is a new Federal initiative with regard to the banning of novelty lighters. The State
of Maine took the lead and passed legislation banning the sale of novelty lighters in
Maine. Marshal Coan displayed several versions of novelty lighters. The move to ban
these lighters is in cooperation with an effort to reduce juvenile fire setting. It reduces
the opportunity for young children to use lighters as a toy. Congress has taken this up as
an initiative to ban the sale of novelty lighters on a national level. The Marshal has
communicated with the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation and in particular
Senator Kerry, who serves on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee,
where this piece of Senate legislation (Senate 3375 – “Protect Children from Dangerous
Lighters Act of 2008) will be sent. The Marshal then read a letter asking for Senator
Kerry’s support in passing the legislation to ban novelty lighters. The Marshal asked
through Chief Coulombe, as chair of the meeting, that FCAM consider drafting a similar
letter of support. Chief Coulombe stated that the Association would do so.
Firefighter of the Year Ceremony – the nominations and applications are due by
September 15 . The ceremony will be December 3 at 10 AM at Faneuil Hall in Boston.
The Governor will be there. Coincidentally is the ninth anniversary of the Worcester Cold
Storage Warehouse fire.
There is a new initiative being taken in cooperation with FCAM regarding winter fire
safety. Due to the high cost of energy there is a high risk of fire danger this coming
winter. A month ago he put together a task force on Winter Fire Safety. There are a
number of different strategies being proposed for the upcoming winter. The slogan for
the campaign will be “Keep Warm Keep Safe”. The Mass. Home Heat counsel has
provided their advertising firm “pro bono” to develop printed material on winter fire safety.
Keyspan/National Grid will allow the use of their advertising firm to develop some Public
Safety Announcements on winter fire safety. Work is being done within State
Government and the non-profit groups, especially targeting urban areas, to use Councils
on Aging and Senior Centers to promote the message and to get into any and all areas to
promote fire safety. It is the intent to develop public safety packages that can be
customized for your department for your use with local media. The program is still about
a month away. There is also a Governor’s Energy Task force, which the Marshal sits on
with several Secretaries and Commissioners, that are looking at a much broader issue of
energy and the cost of energy. The Governor will be making public statements about this
task force, which will include messages about fire safety. If there are ideas on how to
get the message out to people, especially those who cannot afford fuel, please send
them to the Marshal.
The Springfield Fire Training Facility – the Marshal gave a special thanks to the Western
Mass. Fire Chiefs, who really lobbied the Western Mass. Delegation and Senator
Rosenberg out of Amherst. He reminded Chiefs about the 30 year old Master Plan that
included regional training facilities. He read a read a letter to Commission Dave Perini,
the head of DECAM asking them to work on this project expeditiously. He stated that he
will work with FCAM to move this project ahead.
The “ITZAGASCAN” disposable plastic gas can that is being sold in convenience stores
as an emergency gas can. It indicates on the package that it meets DOT performance
standards. The States of New York and New Hampshire have banned this product from
sale in their states. The Marshal’s Office looked at it last spring but the legal advice was
that it could not be banned because of the preemption from the Department of
Transportation. The DOT approval preempts the states from banning the product. It
appears that New York and New Hampshire did not consider the preemption standards in
making their decision. General Counsel Steve Rourke has spoken with the DOT lawyers
and it appears that the wording on the packaging of the product is not totally true and
there is an opportunity for Massachusetts to ban the product. A request for interpretation
will be requested of the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations at their September meeting
with regards to the approvals of containers. If the Board concurs with the
recommendations of Atty. Rourke a cease and desist order will be issued on the sale of
the product. The company could request that DOT take another look at it and if DOT
were to approve it in the future the preemption would take effect.
The Firefighter Equipment Grant and the SAFE Grants – the hope is that the grant
applications will be mailed out to departments by September 1. Currently the legislature
did not load sufficient money into the appropriate accounts for the administration of the
grants but the money is in the budget in another account. The Marshal must get approval
to get the funds reallocated to the appropriate accounts. It requires that the move be
done by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance with the approval of the
Secretary of Administration and Finance. The request has been made twice but has not
taken place as yet. The hope is to mail the applications by September 1 - have the
applications back to DFS by September 30 and to have the SAFE grants awarded by
November 30. The Firefighter Equipment Grant program has one additional step –
September 1 the application is mailed – September 19 date to buy off the approved list
and get a waiver – applications due back to DFS on September 30 and awards on
November 30. SAFE is funded at 1.25 million so the grant awards will be similar to the
last grants. The Firefighter Equipment Grant is funded at 2.5 million which is also similar
to the last round of grants.
Traffic Safety Vests – there is a new Federal Requirement that mandates that anyone
working on the Right of Ways of Federal aided highways must be wearing highly visible
clothing. There is no structural turnout gear that meets that standard. So personnel will
need to use some alternative clothing, such as a vest to meet this standard. This can be
any roadway where Federal Funds are received to maintain that roadway. Chief Kevin
Partridge has applied for a grant for DFS through the Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau
for 50/50 matching funds that would allow departments to purchase the appropriate vests
to meet the requirement. Whether the grant is approved on not there is a requirement
to have that type of clothing available by November 24, 2008. A question arose
regarding how it affects personnel performing firefighting operations in that Right of Way.
Chief Coulombe stated that there is an emergency amendment pending to exempt
personnel during actual firefighting operations. Chief Coulombe asked if the vests could
be added to the Firefighter Equipment Grant list and the Marshal stated that they would
be added. Chief Galligan – Brockton asked if there was a standard regarding the clothing
and the types of colors, sizes and other particulars. There is an ANSI standard and
information was given to Chief Galligan by the Secretary and it will be posted on the
website. The Marshal will also be working to provide some education on the standard
The Department of Fire Services will be holding their first three day conference ion 12,
13, 14 November at the Westford Regency. There is a night program with Deputy Chief
Bill Goldfeder and other nationally known speakers.
The Senior Fire Officer forum will continue this year with new speakers and presentations
from around the country. These are one day programs.
The Marshal concluded by thanking his staff and the work that DFS is doing in delivering
new and innovative programs to the fire service in the state.
EMS Committee - Chief Timothy Francis - Fairhaven
Chief Francis spoke on the following items of interest:
The issue of having firefighters responding pumpers to other communities on mutual aid
and having personnel sign off on refusals or treating patients in these other communities
and whether they were licensed to do this or not. Any fire service personnel including
first responders, who respond on medical calls and are also sent on mutual aid to other
communities is best approached by having your community become a certified
Emergency First Response (EFR) that would cover those personnel when responding on
medical calls to other communities. Those communities that are not certified EFR’s but
are responding there may be a question as to whether you can sign off when on mutual
aid. The EMS committee is encouraging all fire departments to become certified EFR’s.
There will be cost through OEMS for the license but there is no inspection of the
vehicles, but down the road certified EFR’s will be able to bill for service. This is a goal
for the committee.
The EMS committee has been working with DFS on the use of the simulation labs for
Recognized Chief Kevin Gallagher and the Acushnet Fire Department for taking over
EMS services in their community.
Chief Ron Scott – Mattapoisett – Chairman Fire Service Commission –
Chief Scott stated that on August 11 the Commission met at the Mass. Maritime Academy,
The biggest topic of discussion was the certification of Fire Chiefs. The bill has died and has
therefore not come before the Commission. He suggested that the FCAM work with them on this
issue on a voluntary basis.
Chief Scott recognized Chief Travis, who was the first Chairman of the Fire Service
Chief Scott also spoke as a member of the Juvenile Fire setting Committee. In the last six
months the committee has reorganized and has been meeting at the Brandon School in Natick.
Deputy State Fire Marshal Tom Leonard has taken over as chair of that group. The group is
diverse including Trooper Investigator Paul Zipper, the District Attorney’s Office, Fire Prevention
Association, the Fair Plan and many others from the state. The group is very progressive and will
meet again shortly.
Chief Paul Zbikowski- Ashburnham – ICC Code Hearings – Minneapolis
Currently there are 53 people who have signed up to go to Minneapolis. A few people have
dropped of attending the conference on September 20 – 21 and 22. If you want to attend please
contact Chief Zbikowski and copy Chief Dolan.
Chief Richard Gomes – Norton – Collective Apparatus Purchasing
Chief Gomes stated that he and Co-Chair Chief Bill Middlemiss of Lexington have been
negotiating with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to develop a fee structure for costs
related to using this system once developed. As part of the discussion they will be looking at
providing other collective purchase items such as defibrillators and other equipment.
Chief Peter Ostroskey – Uxbridge – E911 Telecommunications Board
Chief Ostroskey started by acknowledging Chief George Parrott, Ret. – Saugus – who was a
charter member of the Board having served eighteen years on behalf of FCAM. The membership
gave Chief Parrott a round of applause in appreciation for his service. He then spoke on the
changes to the Board as a result of the recent legislation. The Board membership was reduced
from 21 members to 19. There will only be active Chiefs on the Board and both FCAM and the
Police Chiefs lost one seat. A seat was added for the Massachusetts Ambulance Association.
The legislation did provide a significant change in the funding mechanism to 911 centers. As part
of that change Fire and Fire/EMS based services were eligible for funding in the grant process. If
you are considering a regional approach to fire communications please contact him so they can
keep you informed of grant opportunities.
The Board will present a check to the Shriners Hospital for Children at their Board meeting on
September 9 . This would be from the profits of the Tom Moore/Ed Cloonan Shriners Golf
Tournament. The total money raised from that tournament was $5,764.84. The Board of
Directors had voted at their meeting prior to the main meeting to round that to $6,000. A motion
was made by Chief Roy and seconded by Chief O’Brien to round the amount to $6,000 for the
donation to the Shriners. There was no discussion on the motion and the motion carried
New Business – None
Chief Arthur Pelland – Abington – stated that Acorn Recording had advised him there are digital
logging recorders that were double tapped into the PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Point) and
the State is now going to remove them. You can retain that device by filling out the form and
relocate it to your department if you want it. An email has been sent out through the Secretary
which has the form attached. It is an opportunity for communities to retain the recorder. The
deadline for sending in the form is August 22 .
Chief Kenneth Willette – Concord – spoke about the Strategic Plan and the goal to increase
membership. As part of that discussion the idea of allowing Deputy Fire Chiefs into the
Association has been discussed at the Strategic Planning Session and at the Board meetings. It
is the Board’s intent to bring this forward to the membership so that the membership can formally
weigh in on the discussion and decision. Since it would affect the by-laws it was decided by the
Board to bring forward a motion that would refer the matter to the by-laws committee and then the
by-laws committee would report back to the association at a general meeting and there-by
allowing discussion on the matter.
Chief Willette made a motion that the By-Law Committee review the categories of membership
and report on the revision/changes needed to include Deputy Chiefs as members of the Fire
Chiefs Association of Massachusetts. The motion was seconded by Chief Harold Roeder, Ret.
There was a discussion on the motion and if the motion was intended to refer the matter to the
by-laws committee without discussion at the current meeting. The answer was yes. There was
a question as to whether the motion specifically noted Deputy Chiefs and the answer was yes.
There was no further discussion and the motion passed by a majority vote.
Robert Duval – NFPA New England Regional Manager – spoke about the Home Fire Sprinkler
Coalition grant program that would provide funding for setting up a side by side demonstration
rooms with and without sprinklers. This could be used during Fire Prevention week that is coming
up in October. For information go to www.homefiresprinkler.org for the grant application form.
Chief Roy Jones spoke about the recent discussion on the Storm Strike Team. He stated that the
mobilization committee met and has discussed this concept for over a year and they have put it
out as a suggestion to see what the interest is in doing it. It is modeled after a system done in
New York. Chief Jones found it interesting that the topic went to the Board of Directors but not
back to the Mobilization Committee as something for discussion He asked that members go to
the regional coordinators or attend the Mobilization Committee meeting. The next meeting is on
Tuesday – August 26th at 10 AM in Milford. Chief Jones was concerned with the Board’s
involvement without having the Mobilization Committee being involved. The committee is open to
suggestions and comments and there have been rumors about the proposal that are way off
Chief Coulombe responded that the Board was involved because the Board was emailed with
concerns about the proposal. He explained as Chief Robinson had done earlier that there are a
lot of committees, their regular meeting schedule and activities are not known to the Board. This
is why the Board is assigning a Board member to each committee to get the correct information
and we get the input from the membership and address the concerns of the membership. When
someone brings a concern to the Board of Directors the Board will act upon it.
Chief Partridge of DFS spoke on several upcoming trainings that were coming up through DFS
including unified highway response training and the training on the new Trench CMR on
September 17 in Lawrence and 19 in Natick.
Chief Ed Walker – Director of the Mass. Fire Academy – the National Fire Academy weekend is
coming up in October and applications will be coming out. The recruit class will start September
29 still has seats available. DFS and DPS will be running two additional trench CMR seminars
in the month of December and he urged departments to invite their public works people to those
seminars. The Academy has selected Jones & Bartlett 2 edition Fundamentals of Firefighting
as the text for the new FF I and II standard. This is intended to be rolled out for use in the January
recruit class, as well as the January call/volunteer program.
Chief Brian Legendre - Westport spoke to recognize Chief George Andrews of Raynham, who
would be attending his last FCAM meeting as an active Fire Chief. Chief Andrews has been with
the fire service for 34 years and will retire at the end of the month. Chief Andrews was given a
round of applause for his service. Chief Andrews introduced his replacement Chief James
Januse, who will take over on September 1. Chief Januse’s father was the Chief in Raynham
from 1949 to 1981.
Chief Mike Howard - Norwood notified the membership that since our last meeting in June
another community, Medway, has placed the Police Chief in charge of the Fire Department. So
now there are four communities with this similar arrangement.
Chief Ray Godin – Turners Falls spoke on the issue that was raised at the Westminster Board of
Directors meeting in July to have the terms for Secretary/Treasurer position and the Government
Affairs Director be three years. The Secretary/Treasurer would be an elected term for three years
and the Government Affairs Director would be an appointed term for three years. Chief Tom
Coulombe noted that this proposal was discussed as part of the strategic planning session. A
motion was made by Chief Kevin Robinson to amend the by law so that the term for the
Secretary/Treasurer is three years elected and the term for the Government Affairs Director is
three years appointed. The motion was seconded by Chief Peter Ostroskey. There was a
discussion regarding whether the motion was to direct the by-laws committee to review the
proposal and report back to the membership. Chief Robinson stated that this was the intent of
the motion. He also noted that regardless of personal opinions as to whether the
Secretary/Treasurer should be appointed or elected, it is more important to get the issue out to
the membership for a vote. There was no further discussion on the motion and the motion carried
Chief Tom Coulombe noted that the Executive Board has been invited to attend the Leadership-
Strategic Planning Conference of the IAFC in Washington the first weekend of October. Chief
Dio is going as a representative of the New England Division of the IAFC and Chief DiPoli is
going as part of the IAFC delegation and their costs will be covered by those associations. It is
requested to allow 1 Vice President Coulombe and 2 Vice President Robinson attend the
conference through FCAM and the costs would be for travel, lodging and meals. These amounts
would come from the President’s expense line item. A motion was made by Chief Ostroskey and
seconded by Chief Willette to allow the Secretary/Treasurer to pay for bills related to travel,
lodging and food for the 1 and 2 VP’s of FCAM at the IAFC Leadership and Strategic Planning
Conference in Washington and the funds to come from the President’s expense line item. There
was no further discussion on the matter and the motion passed unanimously.
Remarks for the good of the Association
Walter Cryan of Greenwood Emergency Vehicles announced that the annual open house and
Bar-B-Que would be held on September 19 from 10 AM to 2 PM with the highlight of the open
house being the unveiling of the brand new stainless steel Maxim pumper manufactured in North
Attleboro. Chief Ken Willette asked Walter about rumors about the sale of E-One to new owners.
Walter stated that there are new owners AIP, which is an equity firm. It is a positive change for E-
One and when the announcement was given that they were the new owners the employees
cheered. The look at this is the best thing to happen as they expect that there will be more funds
available for E-One to develop products. He noted under the influence of AIP the last quarter of
last year was better than any quarter in the last five years and the first quarter of this year is
better than that. Greenwood now owns and produces the Maxim brand truck. He provided on
overview of the products, better delivery time and advantages of the new ownership of E-One.
Chief Ollie Gadson of Framingham is retiring November 5, 2008.
Retirement Party information has been posted on the website.
Chief Gerry LaFlamme, Ret. – Shrewsbury will have a retirement reception on Thursday evening
September 25 at the Italian Victor Club – Dewey Road – Shrewsbury from 7- 10 PM – tickets
are $30/person and $50/couple – Call Denise Buteau at the Shrewsbury Fire Department – 508-
We have received some information from the Mesothelioma Information Organization regarding
asbestos. See the Secretary or go to the links page and click on 222.mesotheliomaweb.org.
Chief Ken Galligan – Brockton commented that the City of Fall River had rescinded the Strong
Chief Law for the new Fire Chief and that Plymouth is looking to do the same, as well as Clinton.
He wanted to let the Association know what was taking place with this. He asked the membership
present that if they were aware of communities taking away the Strong Chiefs law, they should
notify the Association and the Association needs to get a “grasp” on this issue. He stated that he
believes that there is a “groundswell” from the city managers, mayors and Boards of Selectmen to
continue this action throughout the Commonwealth. Chief Quinn of Orleans noted that the attack
to make the change in his community came after the first round of advertising for the position.
His point was that the attack came when there was no full time Chief. Other Chiefs rose to state
there have been other attempts in other communities to rescind the benefit.
Chief Coulombe noted that in the July issue of Firehouse there was an article outlining the
Uxbridge mill fire and the fine job done by Chief Ostroskey.
Chief Robinson stated that he had contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office in New York and he
would be working with Tim Rodrique of the Mass. State Fire Marshal’s Office on the issue of the
portable “Itzagascan”, and they will update the Association as the matter proceeds.
At this time Chief Richard Gomes introduced the Chairman of the Norton Board of Selectmen –
Mary Steel. Chief Gomes related stated that Selectmen Steel was the first Selectmen he knew
of that came to the Fire Station and asked “What have you go? What do you need? How do you
operate?” She toured the buildings, road in the car with the Chief to look at operations and asked
about staffing, so that she could make informed decisions. Selectman Steel welcomed the
membership to Norton.
There was a motion to adjourn the meeting at 12:10 PM and seconded. The motion passed
The next scheduled meeting of the FCAM general membership is on Wednesday, September 17
at 10 Am at Hemisphere’s in Sandwich for the annual clam bake.