By Gareth Henderson
READING – The Reading Selectboard is considering an emergency services director position for the Town, following a recent discussion with Reading Fire Chief Gary Vittum.
According to Selectboard Chair Bob Allen, the selectboard is pondering a new part-time volunteer director position for emergency services, after Vittum raised several issues at the board’s February meeting. If the job is created, the director would probably be one of the existing fire and rescue volunteers – not a third party.
Allen said the director would help coordinate usage of the emergency services building, property maintenance for the building, the purchasing of equipment for the fire department and fast squad, and other such matters involving emergency services departments.
“We don’t want one group planning in their budget to buy something the other group already has,” Allen said.
Allen also made it clear that the emergency services director would not be a new paid position.
“We aren’t creating a power organization here,” he said. “We’re basically just looking at what we should do.”
Allen also said the director position could help coordinate a more immediate response in case of an emergency as well. He said there are fortunately a couple of firefighters in town whose bosses let them leave work if there’s an emergency in town. Allen also mentioned that the entire fast squad lives and works out of town. In addition, Allen said there are training courses for emergency services personnel that require a director to be in place in case of a town-wide emergency. Though such an emergency seems unlikely, Allen said, an emergency services director was worth considering.
“We’re all in agreement that we need to do something, or at least talk about it,” Allen said. “We’re trying to be proactive instead of reactive.”
No final decision has been made about the possible director position.
By Gareth Henderson