Plymouth: Fire Chief: Town’s Under Staffing, Under Funding Lead to Collapse Of Fire Houses

 

In North Plymouth, the fire station is closed by an order last month of the Board of Health. This, after sections of the floor fell into the basement. Before that, the central fire station was pronounced uninhabitable because of roof issues and only recently reopened after a six week shutdown. 

The problems causing these events did not happen overnight, so what is the process for maintenance of town buildings?  Fire Chief Ed Bradley says the Town Charter is very clear in Section 6:

“It says the Department of Public Utilities is responsible for all buildings and all grounds on our town owned and leased buildings,” said Bradley. “That’s their responsibility.”

The Chief says that up until recently that responsibility fell to the Assistant DPW Director.

“Who was also in charge of the town’s fleet, by fleet, I mean all the police cars, all the DPW trucks, excavators, dump trucks. Obviously, that is a lot more than one person can possibly handle and be able to track every single thing that’s going on,” said Bradley. “It just can’t be done. There’s never been enough people.There’s never been enough money devoted to that particular position, nor for them to do their job on all 32 town owned buildings.”

But, the Chief says if people go back in the town reports and look at the total number of capital requests, there’s a record of trying to obtain funding.

“Look under DPW facilities and buildings, you’ll see where they made requests—going back to 2009 for fire station use or fire station repairs,” said Bradley.

Almost two years ago, the position of facilities manager was created to oversee maintenance of town buildings. That position is currently held by Wayne Walkden, who recently filed a complaint against the town, alleging a hostile work environment. 

About Bobbi Clark

Bobbi Clark is a Plymouth area reporter at WATD. She began her career in radio as a producer at a news/talk radio station in Chicago. From there she went to WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated television station in Chicago, As a producer there, she won 5 Emmy Awards for production of special programming. Bobbi is a graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Writing, Publishing and Literature.