As city builds new PD, fire wants answers on outdated stations, apparatus

Medford firefighters claim their needs are not being addressed as the city plans to build a new police headquarters

By FireRescue1 Staff

MEDFORD, Mass. — Some firefighters are questioning the city on how their department needs are being addressed as the city plans to build a new police department headquarters.

Medford firefighters Eddie Buckley and James Flynn spoke in front of city council and claimed the fire stations are inadequately maintained, the apparatus are outdated and the new training tower and fire headquarters construction plans are not being relayed to firefighters sufficiently, according to Wicked Local.

“The city is putting a Band-Aid on this stuff,” Buckley said, who is president of Medford Firefighters Local 1032. “We just want some progress.”

Councilor Michael Marks agreed with the firefighters, saying the stations’ heating and air conditioning systems, as well as the fire engines, could use some repair.

“I don’t see any relief in sight, to be quite frank,” Marks said.

Councilors unanimously voted to request a plan to replace aging vehicles and hire a mechanic who will prioritize emergency vehicles over other city apparatus.

City council also voted to create a committee, including Fire Chief Frank Giliberti Jr. and fire station captains, to go over issues that need to be addressed, specifically the new firefighter training tower.

Flynn said the average ladder truck age for the station is 17 years old, while the average support vehicle age is 21 years old.

“This is a piece of fire apparatus – it’s a tool we use to fight fires and save lives in the city,” Flynn said. “If it’s not held to that high standard, then we have a big problem.”

Mayor Stephanie Burke previously said the city plans to build a new fire department headquarters in around five years once more funding is available.

Burke also said that since the new police headquarters site is the location of the fire department’s training tower, she would regularly meet with a group of fire personnel to brainstorm locations for a new training facility.

However, Buckley said the last meeting was 16 months ago.

“I was led to believe you gentlemen were part of that committee for the new tower,” councilor George Scarpelli said to the firefighters at the meeting. “I’m distraught right now that you’re telling us you haven’t had ... those meetings.”

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