Barton, Orleans fire departments plan merger

copyright the Chronicle January 10, 2018

by Elizabeth Trail

 

BARTON — Plans are moving ahead for combining the Barton and Orleans fire departments into a single, more efficient unit.

Orleans Administrator John Morley and fire chiefs Kevin Tartaglio and E.J. Rowell came to Monday night’s Barton Select Board meeting to talk about the idea.

Mr. Tartaglio and Mr. Rowell nodded their agreement when Mr. Morley said the fire departments, including the chiefs, are in full support of the plan.

Mr. Tartaglio has volunteered to step aside and leave Mr. Rowell with the official title of fire chief.

“These guys already know how to work together,” Mr. Morley said. “That’s going to be the easy part.”

The select board, too, thinks the idea is a good one.

The plan is for both firehouses to stay open. Equipment will be moved around so that both locations have what they need. Firefighters will be assigned wherever they’re needed. And the village of Orleans will handle the bookkeeping and other paperwork that both chiefs admit they find daunting.

“It’s the structure that’s changing, not the services,” Selectman Bob Croteau said.

The plan offers central administration, a single insurance, and central dispatching, he noted.

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