Officials moving toward considering regional solutions.Byline: J.P. Ellery
WEST BROOKFIELD - Regionalizing fire and ambulance services may require legislation to create an incentive for area towns to embrace the idea.
One of a board of town officers chosen annually in New England communities to manage local affairs.
Noun 1. selectman - an elected member of a board of officials who run New England towns Thomas H. Long says he is so convinced that these services need help to improve that he is willing to ask his colleagues to request legislation to establish a funding source.
"I intend to have a discussion with state Rep. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) and state Senator Noun 1. state senator - a member of a state senate
senator - a member of a senate Steve Brewer (D-Barre), and I would hope we could get a consensus among selectmen SELECTMEN. The name of certain officers in several of the United States, who are invested by the statutes of the several states with various powers. in several of the area towns to do the same thing," Mr. Long said yesterday.
Response to a recent fire in West Brookfield prompted a renewed discussion of possibly combining personnel and/or equipment in two or more towns to produce better fire and ambulance services and offset a frequent lack of manpower.
Selectmen in neighboring neigh·bor
1. One who lives near or next to another.
2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.
3. A fellow human.
4. Used as a form of familiar address.
v. Brookfield recently made an initiative to West Brookfield to conduct a joint meeting to explore regional approaches to various services provided by towns. That session is being set up.
"There has to be an incentive there that makes it attractive for communities to want to be involved in it," Mr. Long said.
For years, he said, area communities have saved money by buying police cruisers via a state bidding contract. He said that system could be expanded to include the needs of other town departments.
Another example is the substantial money that local towns have saved by taking advantage of the regional central dispatch center created years ago in New Braintree, he said.
Selectman John V. Tivnan goes along with requesting legislative help, but he is pessimistic about the chances for success in actually regionalizing town departments.
"It's a tough nut to crack," he said. Town departments and officials often are reluctant to change "and I think it would cost the towns money to regionalize re·gion·al·ize
tr.v. re·gion·al·ized, re·gion·al·iz·ing, re·gion·al·iz·es
To divide into regions, especially for administrative purposes.
re . It would save money (down the road), don't get me wrong, but it might cost them money to do it."
"You've got to set up some kind of bureaucracy to manage this whole thing, and that's another key issue (to overcome)," Mr. Tivnan said.
West Brookfield Fire Chief Timothy R. Batchelor is all in favor of regionalization regionalization Managed care The subdivision of a broadly available service–eg, a blood bank, into quasi-autonomous regional centers, capable of making decisions and providing more cost-effective and/or faster service to hospitals and health care facilities, . He told selectmen last week that he would meet with anyone at any time to move in that direction, understanding that money may be the stumbling block stum·bling block
An obstacle or impediment.
any obstacle that prevents something from taking place or progressing
Noun 1. .
He agreed that limited availability When customers of the PSTN make telephone calls, they commonly make use of a telecommunications network called a switched-circuit network. In a switched-circuit network, devices known as switches are used to connect the caller to the callee. of personnel to run an on-call fire department has stymied West Brookfield as well as other fire departments and ambulance operations in the area.
Mr. Long said it is not the fire chief's responsibility to carry the ball in this initiative. "I really think it should be a selectmen's initiative," he said.
"Our (on-call) volunteers are getting tired, and it's not necessarily true with just West Brookfield," Mr. Long said.
"We need a higher level of services. I think the primary goal is to enhance or have a better system than what the towns have on a piecemeal piecemeal
patchy, e.g. necrosis of the liver in which groups of hepatocytes are separated by small groups of inflammatory cells and fine, fibrous septa following extension of the inflammatory process beyond the limiting plate. basis, particularly when so much of it is a volunteer effort."
NAME: WEST BROOKFIELD SELECTMEN