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Six recruit firefighters join department, head to school

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TOWNSEND — Two weeks after the jobs were posted, six young men have been appointed as recruit firefighters for a one-year probationary period.

The appointments had fallen under scrutiny earlier this month when it was realized that the open-ended posting found on the Fire/EMS Web site wasn’t a legal job posting. The jobs hadn’t been posted under the guidelines set down in the town charter.

To remedy the situation, the Board of Selectmen delayed the appointments of three individuals and waited for a new legal posting to run its course.

Over those two weeks, no one else applied to be a recruit firefighter.

Fire Chief Donald Klein returned to the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday to ask for the appointment of all six qualified applicants. Two other young men had applied, but were not yet 18.

Since the last discussion, Klein was able to secure six recruit training positions in Groton. Originally, only three training slots were available, in the Sterling facility.

The Groton course had the disadvantage of being a longer program, lasting from September to June instead of September to December, but Klein said the applicants felt the extended schedule would be beneficial to their other responsibilities.

Klein said the recruits wouldn’t need to wait until the end of the program to take part in Fire Department activities, with proper restrictions and guidance.

Selectman Robert Plamondon said he was glad that all six were able to attend and their applications were a benefit to the town.

The new fire recruits are Ryan Cronin, Jason Denig, Christopher Jamieson, Ben Niemiera, Leon Niemiera and Adam Sharpe.

Selectmen also agreed to allow seven Fire Department members to continue serving in temporary officer positions, to provide better coverage of the town. The appointments come at no extra cost to the town and will be effective for 90 days after Aug. 19.

David Roy is temporary deputy chief; Brett King, John Elliot and Michael Grimley are temporary captains; and Brian Metivier, Bill Elliot and Gary Shepherd are temporary lieutenants.

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