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Fire, ambulance merger, return to Pepperell high on chief’s agenda


TOWNSEND — After only one month on the job, fire Chief William Donahue is finding his position very rewarding.

“This is one great group of people (who are) all very dedicated. Everyone is willing to work together,” Donahue said.

With added responsibility on his plate, he has his list of things to do on the wall, and is sticking to it.

“I am in the process of talking to Groton, as they are a little further ahead of us in their merge of their Fire and Ambulance departments,” Donahue said. “I would also like to get our ambulance service back into Pepperell and generate some revenues, and I am looking forward to talking with fire Chief Bozicas on the matter.”

Bozicas said he is also looking forward to speaking with Donahue about the ambulance service and advanced life support.

“I would like to speak with him when he has time, however the billing issues have to be resolved before we can do anything,” Bozicas said of the still remaining complication.

Donahue said the process for a merger of the fire and ambulance departments is moving along.

“This department is like no other. They want to merge and work together. I’ve seen departments that don’t even like to talk to each other,” he said.

“My goal on that is to have everything in place by the annual town meeting in the spring,” he said.

One process that has to happen first is that the ambulance personnel must be ranked like Fire and Police departments.

“It’s a promotion process. They have to have the ranking system like the other departments. I am meeting with each member and getting to know them better,” Donahue said.

Donahue said one thing Townsend really needs is more Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

In regard to the cross-training of fire and ambulance personnel for the merger, Donahue said he is not forcing anyone to do it.

“There are members that are going through the cross-training process right now,” he said. “Some firefighters don’t want to be ambulance personnel, and some ambulance personnel don’t want to be firefighters. It’s an individual decision and I won’t force the issue. We will work it out so everyone on both departments will be happy.”