Andover/East Andover Fire Departments

By Rene Lefebvre, EAFD Chief

There is a bit of electricity in the air as we work to combine operations. Bylaw changes that had been a future project are now upon us and have taken on the urgency they deserve. The overpowering theme among the team is to get it right the first time.

Last month as we settled in to conduct our business meeting, we were interrupted by a tone to respond to an auto accident. We responded and handled the incident, and then the team went right back to the station to finish the business meeting. No time was wasted, as we all feel the responsibility of the task we have undertaken.

As you read in last month’s announcement of the merger, much will change. The changes in command and operations will benefit how we operate as a team. The political and budget side of our department will not change. We, the members, have no authority to change any precinct voting rights or responsibilities. As stated last month, any changes to political authority must be approved by a vote of each precinct.

The members of the fire departments are not asking for any changes at the precinct level. We feel it best to merge our operations and have the chief of the new, combined department report to the commissioners of both precincts. There was some confusion on this, and I hope this makes it clearer. We are at the Andover Station every Monday evening and would be very happy to answer any questions.

Check Your Heat Source

An article in last month’s Beacon spoke of the importance of having your heating appliance cleaned and serviced for the upcoming heating season. Where did the summer go?

Please also think about your solid fuels appliances as well. Wood, pellet, and coal stoves should be inspected for cracks in the heating chamber and the integrity of the fire brick. The flue pipe should be inspected and replaced if there is any concern from rust or corrosion. The chimney must be cleaned every year and, in some cases, more often.

The chimney is an interesting system in your home. If you ignore required maintenance, it will remind you by filling your home with vile-smelling smoke while sending flame about 20 feet above your chimney. At worst, this could be very dangerous to your family; at best, a very nerve-wracking experience. Of course, it would also be an opportunity to meet your firemen personally, though I am sure we could arrange a better way.

If you have a concern with your heating appliance, please contact us. Although we are not experts, we will help you find one.

Keeping Families Safe

For me and your firemen, the very best part of our job is keeping families safe. There is almost indescribable satisfaction and joy we feel when we have taken a family from dangerous chaos to a controlled, safe place. We have, however, already had enough of those experiences to last us a lifetime.

From your firemen, have a safe Thanksgiving holiday, wrapped in the warmth of your loved ones.