Fire Commission Minutes Revised

Date:  Monday August 13, 2018 (08/13/18)

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Fire Commission Minutes 8/13/18 Draft

Fire Commission

Weathersfield School

135 Schoolhouse Road, Ascutney, VT 05030

Monday, August 13, 2018

7:00 PM – Brief Fire Commission Meeting

Fire Commission and Select Board Joint Session


Fire Commission Members Present:

Kelly Murphy

Tim Austin

Josh Dauphin

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Fire Commission Members Absent:

Darrin Spaulding

Select Board Members Present:

Dan Boyer

John Arrison

Select Board Members Absent:

Peter Cole

Town Manager: Ed Morris

Others Present:

Nicholas Koloski, Ray Stapleton, Derek Gurney, Mark Girard, Rod Spaulding, Ernest Shand, Tracy Dauphin, NaToshya Spaulding, Josh Dauphin, Cheryl Watson, Richard Watson, Michael Lewallen, David Picknell, Levi Parker, J. Compo, Ben Waters Travis Compo, Jordyn Bagalio, Colby Hodgdon, Rick, Bergeron, Tim Austin, Mychael Spaulding, Robert Knight, Mark Knight

  • Call to Order:

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm.

  • New Recording Secretary:

Motion: Appoint Chauncie Raymond as new Fire Commission Recording Secretary

Made by Josh Dauphin Second: Kelly Murphy

Vote: Unanimous in favor

  • Additions or deletions to this agenda


  • Comments from the public about items not on the agenda


  • Approve the previous Meeting Minutes:

Meeting Date _July 9, 2018

Motion to approve the minutes:

Made by: Tim Austin Second: Josh Dauphin

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy requested to have spelling errors of her name corrected and amended motion. Motion carried and approved with corrections.

Vote: Unanimous in favor


  • Meeting opened to Select Board

Kelly Murphy opened Select Board Meeting at 7:09 pm.

Presentation of the “Wood Report” – see attached spreadsheet for detailed list of recommendations, listed in priority order.


A= Administrative, S= Safety

1-5 rated 1 highest priority to 5 lowest priority

Staging area created by Kelly Murphy to add items addressed by attendees for further discussion by Fire Commission and/or Select Board.

Fire Fighter safety is listed as a top priority and listed immediate recommendations to address. (Orange highlighted areas on 2ndpage of spreadsheet)

Review of each listed recommendation and opened the floor for questions, comments, concerns, etc.

Recommendation #1 – “Reduce apparatus response to many incidents to one piece of apparatus.”

Issues Discussed:

Nick K (AVFD) – Apparatus leaving the fire station before more volunteers show up to go to calls.

Mychael Spaulding (WWFD) – It needs to be taken into consideration who is trained to do what when responding.

Josh Dauphin (WWFD – Chief) – If one truck has already responded to a call, is it worth waiting for more people before sending a second apparatus? Minimum of 2 people must be on the 1st apparatus.


Tim Austin (Fire Commission) – Include Police Department on discussion of how many apparatuses are dictated based on the call.

Rick Bergeron (AVFD) – create response procedures to know what calls require how many apparatuses you need.

Ed Morris (Town Manager) – work on primary initial response protocol.

Recommendation #2 – “Coordinate Purchase of Equipment as if one department to reduce duplication.”

Issues Discussed:

Nick K (AVFD) – duplication of equipment or equipment one fire house has that the other doesn’t know about.

John Arrison (Select Board) How many of each item do the Fire Departments need?


Josh Dauphin (WWFD – Chief) Anything purchased from allocated funds and approved by the Town Manager should be on record.

Kelly Murphy (Fire Commission/Select Board) – create a new inventory for each individual fire house.

Recommendation #3 – “Redefine Fire Commission Role.”

Josh Compo (WWFD) suggested moving forward from this topic until other items on agenda had been discussed.

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy reminded everyone what the role and purpose of the Fire Commission was when it was created in 1990.

Recommendation #4 – “Review and plan guide to meet NFPA recommendations and OSHA guidelines including: 1720, hose & SCBA fit testing, 2 in -2 Out etc.”

Issues Discussed:

Mychael Spaulding (WWFD) – Response protocols and SOG’s being different at each house and safety changes needing to be enforced.


Josh Dauphin (WWFD – Chief) Accountability – the Chief at each fire house needs to be accountable for their organizations.

Recommendation #5 – “Coordinate Monthly Fire Training.”

Issues Discussed:

Ray Stapleton (WWFD) – Protocols are different between both departments.


Tim Austin (Fire Commission) – Coordination between both departments and Fire Commission.

Nick K (AVFD) – Mandatory monthly training and monitored by Fire Commission.

Recommendation #6 – “Reduce the number of fire apparatus by one engine.”

Issues Discussed:

Nick K (AVFD) – How does eliminating a vehicle change our ISO rating?


Ed Morris (Town Manager) – Discussion with ISO prior to removing or adding an apparatus and balance the ISO recommendation and the needs of the town.

Recommendation #7 – “Need better accounting for equipment purchases.”

This has changed since the Wood Report came out. For the town allocated funds, the Fire Departments are directly submitting their invoices for reimbursements to the Town Manager.

Recommendation #8 – “Single Department”

Chief Dauphin: “Us as a membership had a discussion looking at having the Select Board find out what having a single department would look like and combine and not have two volunteer organizations. Within that discussion and however this turns out, as of March my term as Fire Chief is up. I am not going to pursue it anymore. The time that it takes for either Chief to put into what is really needed for this town is a lot of time.”

“This whole list really goes one way or another, full single department or keep it the way that it is for the past 51 years and have two separate departments. It would eliminate the confusion of SOPs, training, budget operations, personnel issues, apparatus inventory, fire gear inventory, communication, which is probably the biggest issue we have across both departments. As I would like to see personally and I think most of the department (WWVFD) would like to see that the Town make the shift, make the recommendation to go to a municipal department that would have one Fire Chief, have one say, one set of everything, one decision to handle all of these things that we deal with year after year through Fire Commission, through Select Board, through our own departments. It would eliminate a lot of stress.”

“The second thing, training. Why we don’t train together. Morale. We can’t get along, there is always bickering going on. I have members that don’t want to go over there because of morale. You guys (AVFD) have members that don’t want to come over here because of morale. That’s the biggest thing. It all goes back to communication of everybody, right to the top of myself of Darrin of Fire Chiefs. There’s been 3 Fire Chief and 1 interim for 9 months since our organization has started.”

“Fire Commission has been in existence for 28 years and it hasn’t solved the real issues that go back and forth between the 2 departments. So, it’s time, in my opinion, to honestly have the Select Board do what they’re doing, step up, cut the cord and say Thank You, we’re going to take and start a department that has one person in charge, that’s going to handle all these issues and that’s going to take and look out for the best interest of the tax payers of Weathersfield.”

Issues Discussed:

Combining WWFD and AFVD into a single department.

Mark Girard (AVFD) – Have the Fire Commission be a controlling force and leave 2 fire departments.

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy (Fire Commission) What would the financial impact be to the tax payers?


Select Board and Town Manager are researching what is working with other communities who have gone through a similar transition and what this would look like for the town.

Recommendation #9 – “Review Bylaws and SOGs annually.”

Issues Discussed:

Different SOGs at each Fire House.

Nick K. (AVFD) – When an AVFD responds to a WWFD call, what SOG do they operate under?


Nancy Nutile-McMenemy (Fire Commission) – Both Fire Departments have been asked by the Fire Commission to go over their SOGs and Bylaws to be reviewed at the next Fire Commission meeting September 13,2018.

Ed Morris (Town Manager) – Fire Commission negotiate and review SOGs 1 or 2 each meeting.

Recommendation #10 – “Assure oversite of the department operations and procedures.”

Need to think of 2 stations as a whole, not 2 separate entities.

Recommendation # 11 – “Single incident report per incident.”

Issues Discussed:

When both fire departments were responding to a structure fire, the town was getting that as 2 separate calls, when it should be 1 call both departments responding so it we were not able to see a true call volume.


Nancy Nutile-McMenemy (Fire Commission) – the Fire Commission has asked that they receive a report each month at their meetings to review the call log breaking down the type of call, who responded etc.

Recommendations #12 - #15 –

Issues Discussed:

Fire Department responding to medical calls unless called for by responding ambulance.

Top 3 recommendations of the Wood Report that the Select Board wants to focus on:

  • Reduce apparatus response to many incidents to one piece of apparatus.
  • Review and plan guide to meet NFPA recommendations and OSHA guidelines including: 1720, hose & SCBA fit testing, 2 in -2 Out etc.
  • Review Bylaws and SOG’s annually.

Items added to the “Staging Area” for further discussion by the Fire Commission and/or Select Board:

  • Response protocols
    • Per incident with trained personnel
    • Enforcement
  • Need more water (additional source)
  • EMS Calls

Motion to adjourn the Select Board at 9:25 pm.

Made by: Dan Boyer, Second John Arrison

Vote: Unanimous in favor

Motion to adjourn the Fire Commission at 9:26 pm.

Made by: Tim Austin, Second Josh Dauphin

Vote: Unanimous in favor

Submitted by – Chauncie Raymond

Revised notes submitted 10/14/18