Foxboro Fire department lauded for innovation | Local News … – The Sun Chronicle

Foxboro Fire and Rescue shall be among a handful of civic businesses acknowledged for innovation when the Massachusetts Municipal Association hosts its annual meeting and conference in Boston next month.

Town Manager William Keegan last week introduced the hearth department will probably be honored for enterprise an emergency response danger evaluation that finally led to new tips for sporting protective clothes and different gear.

Keegan stated the process commenced roughly six months in the past after info surfaced that indicated hearth retardant chemical compounds used in manufacturing so-referred to as “turnout gear” pose a cancer danger.

While firefighters have long been thought-about more vulnerable than most of the people to totally different types of cancer, notably mesothelioma, newer knowledge suggests that chemical compounds embedded in protective clothing — notably the heavy overcoats worn by firefighters for generations — are carcinogenic.

“Obviously that equipment protects us, but it’s also an exposure,” Fire Chief Michael Kelleher stated throughout a yr-finish briefing for selectmen on Dec, 20. “The challenge is gauging that middle ground — when do we put on the turnout gear and when is it safe not to wear it.”

Hoping to attenuate occupational health dangers, Kelleher stated department managers labored with the local firefighters’ union over the previous yr to research several types of emergency responses and develop inner tips that determine when protecting gear must be worn.

Based on these new requirements, firefighters now put on turnout gear only when confronted with reside hearth situations, similar to constructing or automotive fires. Gear is stowed aboard hearth department automobiles and could be shortly accessed ought to circumstances change at the scene, Kelleher stated.

“It’s an issue industry-wide and a lot of people are trying to figure out how to address it,” he added.

Following that same evaluation, Foxboro Fire & Rescue also revised an extended-standing coverage of dispatching an engine truck together with an ambulance to each medical response, in favor of now sending just an ambulance to low-degree medical calls.

“We preserve that resource, save the wear and tear on the vehicle and just send the ambulance,” Kelleher advised selectmen.

Such initiatives have been attainable solely as a result of Foxboro gained access to extra particular details about emerging conditions by means of its participation within the SEMRECC regional E-911 consortium, he added.

This partnership has proven useful in quite a few ways, Kelleher stated — resembling enabling first responders to swiftly find a mountain biker who fell and shattered her ankle within the F. Gilbert Hills State Forest earlier this month.

According to Kelleher, the consortium employs software that generates latitude and longitude coordinates from cellular phone transmissions which are correct to inside ten ft, directing rescuers to injured parties even in darkness or if callers grow to be disoriented.

“It was a really good outcome,” he stated. “Five years ago, these calls were a nightmare because we were trying to figure out where the person was. Now we can walk right to them with no issue or fanfare.”

According to Kelleher, the hearth department responded to approximately 300 motorcar accidents per yr in 2022, with 10 fatalities — totally on Interstates 95 and 495.

“We have serious motor vehicle accidents out there,” he stated, including that first responders from Foxboro typically arrive on scene before state police models which cover a wider space. “It’s dangerous out there, especially at night.”

Also available for the briefing, Assistant Chief Thomas Buckley, who is accountable for human assets and staffing in addition to serving as liaison to Gillette Stadium, stated the department bid farewell to a number of veteran firefighters over the past yr.

Retirements in 2022 included captains David Healy and Edward Noonan, as well as firefighters Timothy Cotter and Michael Whelehan, who ranged between 25 to just about 40 years of service.

New hires included firefighters Harry McComb, Jeff Eszlari, Alyssa Marcoux and Keith Hamilton, Alex Noonan, the son of Edward Noonan who completed first in his class at the hearth academy.

In addition, Buckley is overseeing an accreditation process which, if accomplished efficiently, would make Foxboro Fire & Rescue the first absolutely accredited municipal agency in Massachusetts — the only different being Westover Air Force Base.

Deputy Fire Chief David Laracy, who oversees inspections and allowing, advised selectmen the landmark Schneider Electric campus on Neponset Avenue is presently being decommissioned — a two-yr program of abating asbestos, eradicating chemical compounds and getting ready the property for future use.

“It’s a massive building,” Laracy stated of the original Foxboro Company headquarters, whereas recommending that town officers tour the location to familiarize themselves with potential future options. “That building has been in constant use since 1894.”

Laracy also has been pivotally concerned in the complicated, multi-part north finish zone reconfiguration at Gillette Stadium, which includes a 104,000-square-foot enlargement to deal with administrative workplaces.

He acknowledged the venture has been particularly time-consuming for department personnel, with as many as seven firefighters on the job website at anybody time.

“The biggest challenge on this is that we’ve had six fires [and several medical emergencies] already, so our personnel have proven that they’re needed up there,” Laracy stated.

Finally, Deputy Chief Thomas Kenvin, who also serves as the city’s public health nurse, reported the department responded to 2,643 requests for emergency medical providers in 2022 — roughly two-thirds of which concerned superior life help.

Kenvin prompt that workforce shortages in the healthcare business, as well as the June 2020 flooding which prompted the closure of Norwood Hospital, have created elevated demand for city ambulance providers, including mutual help requests from nearby communities.

Much of that quantity has been redirected to different regional hospitals, including Sturdy Memorial in Attleboro, Good Samaritan in Brockton and Milford Regional Hospital — all requiring longer medical transports to increasingly busy emergency rooms.

Wrapping up the prolonged briefing, Kelleher pledged to proceed in search of various revenue streams to help offset value and improve efficiencies in department operations.

Along these strains, the chief touted a novel program that makes use of in-home personnel to take care of and restore hearth equipment for outdoors hearth departments. Since being launched 16 months ago, this system has generated a $100,000 revenue after additional time and different associated costs.

Following the presentation, Selectman Dennis Keefe stated the local department had set a bar for different businesses to emulate.

“The way you’ve diversified the department is just remarkable,” Keefe stated.

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