Presentation outlines fire department responsibilities

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Jan 30, 2014
Photo by: File

Hope — An outline of the legal authority and responsibilities of fire chiefs was presented by William Guindon, director of the Maine Fire Service Institute, at the selectmen's meeting Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The program was a condensed version of the one provided as part of the two-day fire chief training offered by the Institute. Guindon noted several times that record-keeping and other legal requirements for fire services have increased in recent years.

He told selectmen the town's fire department “is a very professionally run organization. You should be proud.”

Guindon went over liability issues; the need for departments to have written policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment, firefighter training, social networking and other matters; documentation requirements; National Fire Protection Association standards; fire suppression ratings for insurance purposes; the federal Department of Homeland Security's National Incident Management System and more.

Guindon noted that live fire training, where a vacant structure is burned for training purposes, is less common now, because of legal requirements, safety concerns and necessary documentation.

“You can do it, but there's a lot you need to think about,” he said.

The Board also revisited the question of how to prevent residents and others from taking more sand from the pile provided for townspeople's use than they are entitled to. Reversing its decision of Jan. 14, the Board told Town Administrator Jon Duke to postpone purchasing signs for the salt and sand shed limited use of the shed. Duke was also instructed to get bids for repairing the shed.

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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.

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