MERRIMAC — Chief Larry Fisher is pleased to share insight into the Merrimac Fire Department’s mission as well as its work over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic through a new video.
Last year, the department responded to 1,091 calls for service. Of those, approximately 56% were medical and the remaining were fire calls, including motor vehicle crashes on I-495.
“Our mission in Merrimac is to have a positive interaction with our taxpayers and the visitors of Merrimac on a daily basis,” Chief Fisher said. “Our hope is that when we’re providing that service that a level of comfort is reached with our community.”
Those featured in the video include Chief Fisher, Lt. Shane Sevigny and Firefighter/EMT William Howard.
“It’s pretty amazing to watch everybody come together on calls and work as a team to be able to get the task accomplished effectively and quickly,” Lt. Shane Sevigny said.
The video gives an overview of the types of calls the department responds to, its staff, COVID-19 response, and challenges the department faces as well.
“A ladder truck… well, that piece of equipment is a challenge for a few communities around us right now,” Firefighter/EMT Howard said. “We had one, but it has since been deemed to be unsafe for service. Right now if we need a ladder truck its coming from the town of Plaistow, New Hampshire which is probably a 15 minute response to get to some parts of town– which is substantial.”
Without a ladder truck, firefighters need to carefully coordinate emergency vehicles as they park on a scene to plan ahead if the ladder truck is on its way to ensure it will be able to pull up close enough to the building. Without a ladder truck, firefighters may need to use ground ladders, which are less safe for firefighters themselves and even the tallest ladders may not be tall enough to reach areas of some buildings.
Voters will vote on whether to support the purchase of a ladder truck at the annual Town Meeting this Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at Whittier Tech. The ladder truck purchase is listed in article 15 of the town warrant, and voters will determine whether to appropriate $1.2 million to support the purchase of the vehicle.
To view the warrant articles for the meeting, click here.
Since November, the department has made significant improvements to its facility. Members of the department helped install new lockers, showers, bunk areas, and also implemented new organization systems for equipment and materials throughout the station. All improvements were either budgeted for, funded by grants or donated.
Improvements the department has made over the past six months include the installation and creation of:
- A new bathroom with a shower, paid for with Cares Act Funds
- Locker room with separate changing areas
- New fire alarm system
- Emergency lights and exit signage on the second floor
- New flooring on the second floor
- New flooring in the first floor offices
- New HVAC with assistance from Inspectional Services Administrative Assistant Alyssa Sexton, who worked with the department to provide $200,000 in Green Communities grant funds awarded to the town
- Medical supply room
- Refinished and organized storage areas including a fire equipment storage room and COVID-19 personal protective equipment storage
- Laundry area, including a new washing machine funded by a state grant
- IT room
- Access control and security cameras, which were budgeted for in the fiscal year 2021 budget
Additionally, the department is currently painting the front truck bays of its facility.
For the latest updates, visit the department’s website at merrimacfire.org.