In an announcement from Elizabeth Dennehy, Town Administrator for Plympton, the Board of Selectmen recommitted their support for a stand-alone fire department.
Recent talks with Halifax exploring the possibility of shared services or some shared services, never really got off the ground. Following the joint meeting of Plympton and Halifax, and the recommendations of Plympton’s Fire Consultant, Middleboro Fire Chief Lance Benjamino, measures have already been taken toward resolving some long-standing issues that had resulted in a poorly functioning department.
Benjamino’s recommendations to selectmen at their last meeting encouraged the board. He also issued a caution, however, that the work needs to be continued to see continued results. Benjamino told the board that his group, the Fire Chiefs Association of Plymouth County, could help in the selection of qualified candidates for the position of Fire Chief, if the board would like.
Dennehy’s statement follows:
“As many citizens are aware, local officials and a Fire Technical Advisory Committee that was appointed by the Board of Selectmen have been evaluating the Town’s Fire/EMS operations over the last several months in order to better position the Plympton Fire Department to provide professional public service in a fiscally responsible manner.
Municipal Resources, Inc. (MRI) conducted an in-depth study of the Town’s Fire/EMS operations and prepared an extensive report for the Town’s consideration. MRI’s report, along with the presentation they made to the Town, are available for viewing on the Town’s website: https://www.town.plympton.ma.us/
Accordingly, the Town of Plympton is pleased to announce that we have committed to continuing forward with efforts to stabilize and restructure the Plympton Fire Department, in order to remain a viable stand-alone Department, under the capable oversight of our Fire Management Consultant, Chief Lance Benjamino, and through the daily operations management of Captain Cheryl Davis. Additionally, we will be working with Chief Benjamino on developing the criteria for selection of the Town’s next Fire Chief.
Since early April 2018, the Town was engaging in communications with the Town of Halifax to explore the potential for a shared services model. In light of the financials associated with such a model, along with consideration of the significant progress that has been made at the Plympton Fire Department over the last several weeks and the renewed sense of pride that the dedicated men and women of the Department have demonstrated, we believe we need to focus our efforts on the continued stabilization of the Department and establishing a framework for future success as a stand-alone Department.
We will, however, continue conversations with Halifax and other neighboring communities into the future regarding other options for sharing services and resources, specifically including training opportunities that would benefit multiple Fire Departments.
Over the last few weeks, tremendous progress has been made with respect to stabilizing and examining how to best restructure the Plympton Fire Department in order to provide effective, efficient and responsive service to our residents. Additionally, through the expertise of Chief Benjamino, the Department has been able to implement numerous recommendations contained within the MRI Report.
The Town of Plympton would like to thank the Town of Halifax and their Fire Chief, Jason Viveiros, for all of the effort they put into the process and for being a great neighbor to the Town of Plympton. We look forward to seeing how both communities may benefit from shared training exercises and opportunities in the future.”