The select board in Blandford, Massachusetts, is due to meet Friday to discuss the resignation of its entire fire department. The Blandford fire chief and volunteers quit this week, in part over whether the select board gets a say in picking new firefighters.
The immediate impact may not be too severe, according to Mary Regan, the fire chief in Westfield, about ten miles away. That’s because Blandford contracts out to a private company for ambulance service.
Plus, the town of 1200 is regularly assisted – for both medical and fire calls, Regan says – by nearby communities, including Westfield, which has a fully staffed fire department.
“There may be some delay in having a first responder get on the scene. But basically your ambulance is not being impacted at all,” Regan says.
Still, Regan wants the dispute settled, because right now there is a risk.
“If we’re responding to Blandford, that means that we have equipment that’s out of our community and not available to the people that we’re supposed to serve,” she says.
Blandford Selectman Adam Dolby says he’s hopeful all can be set right at Friday night’s meeting.