It was a sparse group with only three of the five Selectmen present. Sarah Silk, Linda Murray and Chuck Storm. Sarah chaired the meeting and there was no discussion of changing it. I suspect that will happen next meeting or when everyone is back.
The monthly budget report was favorable as there has been minimal snow removal work.
The review of election results was predictable. The chairman asked the Town Manager to give the run down. He basically played it straight and named the failed articles.
Linda Murray did her usual schtick by rattling off statistics about letters to the editor and then proclaimed the issue of BMH to have been totally aired. Of particular note was 13 editorials about it. Her take was that the town needs to be proactive about getting private money for restoration. She pointed out that building new and moving out got even less support than the 48% for restoration/renovation.
Sarah Silk only said that the turnout was poor at 29%
Chuck Storm said he agreed with Linda.
Dave Ford gave an update on the the work being done downtown. Things are on schedule and they did receive the funding for the sidewalk project on Lehner St. He also described a makeover that they are designing for Depot Square. They have a concept for making an accessible stop for the trolly and the regional transportation bus, as well as reconfiguring the handicap parking spaces and adding some green space. Currently, that area is just a big open roadway.
The town manager informed us that the assessor that we use has switched companies and so we will too. We have dropped Cross Country and now have Murdough (may have spelled wrong).
Sue Ryan spoke at public input to ask that the Selectmen be more forthcoming about their intentions regarding the future of BMH, rather than drop a new plan on us in November.
Tom Bickford spoke to announce that he had resigned from the town volunteer fire squad, citing what he perceives to be inadequacies in staffing and preparedness. Some of the allegations are alarming and I hope that the Selectmen take the time to look into them and inform the public as to their findings.
Tom says that there are only two firefighters available for a major emergency at any time, thus placing the burden of multiple events on mutual aid, with the inherent long response time.
I don’t know if I have this right but he also described a study done by Assistant Chief Zotti where it was found that the FEMA volunteer standards were met in only 3 out of 9 of the events that were examined.
The board retired to non-public session to discuss litigation.
This is what I said,
And, finally, based upon the fire chiefs own report in which he admits to having only two full-time firefighters available to respond to a major emergency at any particular time (Chief’s Report to Town Manager and Selectman Webster, June 2, 2010 attached) and given Deputy Chief Zotti’s study of the department’s capabilities (“Are We Ready” at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo44645.pdf ) that reveals the PROBABILITY that the department was able to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s standard for a volunteer fire department in a rural area for only three out of the nine the fires that he studied, only thirty three percent (33%) of the time. The NFPA standard calls for a volunteer fire department to be able to gather six firefighters at a first alarm fire within 14 minutes of being dispatched to the fire, eighty percent (80%) of the time.
In the interest of fairness I’ve provided some excerpts from Deputy Zotti’s report and encourage people to read his report avaiable at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo44645.pdf and if really interested I’d be glad to send the report with its complete attachments and my annotations from which, I come to my conclusions.
Deputy Chief Zotti reported that “Of 3089 incidents between 2007 and 2009, nine required a first alarm or greater response. They included two fires at Huggins Hospital, a fire at Kingswood Regional High School, a fire in a five-unit apartment building, a fire at the town’s transfer station, and four blazes involving single-family homes. During several other incidents a first alarm was requested but cancelled when the emergency was brought under control by initial responders.”
“The review of Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue incident reports shows the department provided an average of 10 firefighters and three apparatus to the nine first alarm or greater incidents. The mutual aid system supplied an average of 22 firefighters and six apparatus. All responders tasked with fire suppression duties were trained to firefighter I level or higher. Additional resources beyond the mutual aid system are available through the NHFMAA.”
“A strict review of the incident reports and dispatch logs for responses to first alarm or greater incidents shows Wolfeboro does not meet the NFPA 1720 standard for response time and number of emergency personnel on scene (NFPA, 2010b).”
“However, consideration of the personnel who responded to the scene and were not accounted for in the dispatch logs paints a different picture. Knowing the response times involved in the majority of cases, it can be reasonably extrapolated that Wolfeboro indeed met the six responders in 14 minutes or less 80% of the time standard. Using this information, Wolfeboro appears to generally meet the targets of NFPA 1720, but the inability to track arrival of call members and off duty career staff hampers ability to accurately determine members’ arrival times.”
I wish, Deputy Zotti had shown the calculations he used to extrapolate that Wolfeboro did meet NFPA 1720 standard 80% of time, because I don’t see how you get that conclusion when the deparment only made the goal 3 out of 9 times. But perhaps someone who took statistics can explain Deputy Zotti’s conclusion to me.
I want to be clear, that I have the highest regard and respect for Deputy Chief Zotti. He is an intelligent, educated and thoughtful professional in a difficult position.
I’m really not qualified or informed enough to get involved in this, but I think it’s appropriate to put Tom’s own comments out in the light of day given that the newspaper will probably report on it.
Thank you for posting this, Bob. The bulk of the post is excerpts from the Deputy’s report. I’ll post the chief’s report later, if you don’t mind, since I mentioned it in my resignation. I can provide as much analysis of both reports as you want a little bit at a time or I can stop with the Chief’s report. I’d be glad to continue my analyisis on my dormant blog, if you’d prefer. I don’t want to take advantage of your hospitality.
In looking at my first post, I see it isn’t clear where I come up with my conclusions as to the number of times the department did not meet the NFPA standard for response time and number of emergency personnel on scene.
When I found this report on-line in April of 2011, I was able to obtain the appendixes referred to, but not attached to, the on line version it. The appendixes show the actual breakdown of each event and shows that the arrival of 6 firefighters within 14 minutes can only be shown 3 out 9 times.
“A strict review of the incident reports and dispatch logs for responses to first alarm or greater incidents shows Wolfeboro does not meet the NFPA 1720 standard for response time and number of emergency personnel on scene (NFPA, 2010b).” Deputy Zotti, (“Are We Ready” at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo44645.pdf )
I believe the report was completed in Spring 2010.