BLANDFORD, Mass. (WGGB) — The town of Blandford is dependent on surrounding communities for fire relief until further notice.
The Blandford fire department is locked up tight. In fact, there is no fire department.
Tuesday night, the town’s seven firefighters and its chief resigned.
At the center of the controversy is authority over who has control over the fire department – the board of selectmen or the chief.
Firefighters who are volunteers backed their chief and stepped down, but that leaves the town without a fire department if there’s a fire.
“I’m concerned it’s gotten to this point, certainly both as a selectman, but more importantly as a resident. I think it places the town in a position where emergency response whether it’s fire or medical is significantly delayed,” says Adam Dolby, a member of the Board of Selectmen.
The problem is not new. It’s been simmering for months without resolution.
“We’ve been discussing that with them since May of this year. All the personnel of the fire department have been there at least two or three times during the course of that time, and we’ve been unable to resolve the problem,” says Fire Captain Tom Piper.
Without a fire department, Blandford has to rely on mutual aid from surrounding communities, but their response will be longer because of the distance they have to travel.