PLYMPTON – Fire Chief Warren Borsari appeared before the Board of Selectmen Monday night to share his vision of the Plympton Fire Department and outline some of the challenges he and his department are currently facing.
The greatest challenge, Borsari told the board, is staffing for the ambulance: Currently we have two round the clock personnel at the station, PB service, which is a paramedic and a basic EMT for each 12-hour shift. Since the Commonwealth’s more stringent regulations in certifying paramedics, fewer pass the test and there are fewer paramedics “in the pool,” Borsari told selectmen. “Over 80% of what we do is ambulance runs.”
Borsari told the board that he is required to have 24-hours a day or the state will pull our license.
Selectman Christine Joy asked the chief if the ambulance service is paying for itself now. Chief Borsari answered “No. We just don’t have the call volume.” Borsari said that they were attempting to bring the volume up through mutual aid calls from nearby towns. “All towns attempt to handle their own calls, and then call mutual aid when needed,” he said. Borsari estimated that Plympton’s call volume would crack 600 this year.
The ambulance receipts account, which was set up in the early 2000s, has grown each year, from $150,000 in 2014, to $198,000 in 2015, and is at $182,000 with two months left to go in 2016. The chief praised the new ComStar system of billing: the medics come back from an ambulance run, complete their call sheet in the computer, and the information is sent to ComStar where a bill is generated.
EMTs, paramedics, ambulance equipment, lease payments, medicines and ambulance supplies, can all be taken from that account, which would help the overall levy on Plympton real estate taxes.
Borsari told the board he was looking at several things in bringing a high level of ambulance services to Plympton. Outsourcing, he said, would cost the town $400,000 to $500,000 per year and the service provider would take all the ambulance receipts as well.
Regionalization is an area to be investigated, as it would increase our asset base. “We are making contact with all four towns around us,” Borsari told selectmen.
Chief Borsari also noted that he is looking to Citizens for Citizens, a group which provides senior citizens who would like to work, the opportunity to work at the Plympton Fire Station about 20 hours a week to answer phones, and do other office work.
The Chief will return to selectmen in about a month, to report further.
In other business
• Selectmen are putting out an invitation to Plympton citizens who would like to take on the task of reviewing Plympton’s bylaws to see if any need updating. Interested persons should contact the secretary to the selectmen, Brigitte Martins, at 781-585-2700.
• Kopelman & Paige attorneys were the only applicants to submit a bid for the job as town counsel. The board is considering several of the pricing options that K&P has offered.
• The gravel removal permit on Ring Road has lapsed and despite several efforts to contact the applicant, there has been no response. The board has sent a letter that the permit has expired as of Oct. 27, and to cease all gravel removal until a new permit is granted.
• Former Planning Board member Dominique Sampson has agreed to fill out the term of Planning Board chairman Irv Butler who would like to resign. The Nov. 14 meeting of the Planning Board will see those votes taken.
• Treasurer/Collector Colleen Morin sent a letter to selectmen saying that her department is adopting the same every other week schedule as selectmen, that many Monday evenings when selectmen are not meeting, she is open but has had not one person come in.
• Plympton selectmen will next meet Monday, Nov. 14.