The “Big Bill,” also known as the state’s funding bill, directed the VT Department of Health to conduct a study on coordinating local and regional emergency medical services. They have hired Emergency Management Matters out of New York to assist in the study that considers:
• Issues related to costs of service, cost effectiveness of various current service models, and cost-effective alternative service models;
• Existing funding models and identify long-term sustainable funding strategies;
• Challenges and opportunities related to local and regional emergency response coordination; and
• EMS district structure, authority, duties, and the number of districts.
Last week, the Brattleboro Selectboard voted to reveal the major issues with Rescue that board members have known about but have not shared with the public. At the time, Chair Ian Goodnow said “It will be a meeting prior to our decision with ample time for public participation,” and “We’ll have a new schedule with plenty of notice for everyone.”
The public meeting to tell the full story from Brattleboro’s point of view took place in the middle of Tuesday’s EMS Public Forum, in comments made by HR Director Sally Nix.
Early this evening a thunder storm came through Brattleboro, with heavy rains, lighting and wind. The storm affected the Western Ave corridor and Maple Street corridor. The damage consists of trees and power lines down, and minor road damage. The Green Mountain Power South Substation is currrently down. This affects power to residents on Canal Street, Fairview Street, Maple Street to Western Ave and West Brattleboro, this is affecting 2600 residents. Green Mountain Power has crews working on the issue along with replacing a broken utility pole on Maple Street.
The two recent special meetings, held in executive session, were, as many have speculated, to discuss the EMS situation. Both were held without Brat FD members present.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2023
SPECIAL MEETING – 5:15PM
If you missed the recent article , “Brattleboro faces blaze of firefighter departures amid town EMS takeover debate,” here is the link:
The takeaway quote, I believe, is: “ …since … June of last year, 16 staffers have departed. Of the latter firefighters who quit, five had worked multiple years before leaving, while 11 had been hired just days, weeks or months before their departures ….”
1.) Call to Order and Review Minutes from June 28th meeting and approve.
2.)Discuss Complaints and Compliments from June 28th 2023 meeting any additional questions from last months review of Complaints and Compliments to determine final or continued decisions.
3.) Go over any New Complaints and Compliments from BPD.
On July 10, 2023, the Brattleboro Fire Department was dispatched on a first alarm assignment at 14:40 to 198 Canal Street for a report of a building fire. The first arriving units (Engine Two, Ladder 1, Car 2, and Ambulance 1) arrived on the scene at 14:43. Car Two reported a 2-story wood frame building with smoke showing from the “bravo” side. Crews from Engine Two and Ladder One entered the building with two (2) hand lines to extinguish the fire. A second alarm assignment was initiated for additional units and manpower to the scene to assist at 14:45.
Fire attack crews were able to locate and extinguish a fire on the first floor, second floor, and attic space. As additional crews arrived, a search of the building for occupants was completed. The one occupant (and dog) were located outside the building with no injuries.
During the week of July 3rd, the Town of Brattleboro began to receive information regarding multiple strong storm cells entering Vermont during the weekend. Further information collected from the Vermont Emergency Management and information from the National Weather Service indicated a strong possibility for localized flooding throughout the State of Vermont with a heightened focus on counties north of Windham County for the evening hours of July 9, 2023, through July 11, 2023.
The Town of Brattleboro began to prepare for an emergency response to these weather conditions with a strong focus on the Brattleboro Fire Department and Department of Public Works to marginalize any water-related events.
The Town of Brattleboro has been very fortunate compared to some of our neighboring communities in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Currently, the following roads have been impacted the most by the weather conditions:
– Mountain Home Trailer Park (Tri-Park)
– Ames Hill
– Marlboro Road
– George F. Miller Drive
The Brattleboro Citizens Police Communications Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 5:00pm at the Brooks Memorial Library.
The Brattleboro Fire Department is advising you to stay off the ice on the Retreat Meadows for the Last Night Celebration and Fireworks display on Saturday, December 31, 2022.
The ice thickness at the Retreat Meadows on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, ranged between 3 to 4 inches with extremely thin ice along the edges and westerly portion of the Meadows. The National Weather Service of Albany has advised that daytime temperatures starting Thursday will be in the mid-forties for the next several days and at night the temperature is going to stay above freezing.
The weather forecast for Thursday night into Saturday morning is for our area to potentially receive 2-3 inches of rain along with southwest winds from 20-30 miles per hour(mph) and gusts 60 to 70 mph. At the conclusion of this weather event, temperatures are expected to drop into the low teens.
The Brattleboro Fire Department and Department of Public Works are monitoring the weather closely and preparing for fallen trees, downed wires, extended power outages, streams to rise out of their banks, and icing on roadways.
The AP Triton EMS Feasibility Report is available:
As expected it presents four options for possible EMS services going forth:
McNeill’s Brewery, local gathering place and pub, was lost to a fire last night during Gallery Walk. One person, not yet identified, died in the blaze which apparently started in the upstairs apartment at 90 Elliot St.
The bar and brewery had been closed since the Covid outbreak.
I have no words, just sadness. RIP
Photos are attached, taken by Deb Valois.
This study has been described a way to assess the feasibility of a Fire/EMS service within the
Brattleboro Fire Department. It might be noted that $25k of the money set aside for this study was approved as part of the Town Budget on a vote of 100-6 (5 abstentions) by members at a March 19, 2022 Representative Town Meeting. At that time the line item for the appropriation was for a ”strategic plan” to help with “community expectations, concerns, positive feedback, help identifying critical issues, service gaps as well as give … guiding values and principles on how we move forward ….” 2021-2022 Annual Report, p. 48
There was no mention of Fire/EMS at that time.
The Brattleboro Fire Department AP Triton Survey was “closed” to anyone who clicked on the link to access it, despite an October 31 deadline for community members taking the survey.
Clicking on the link this weekend led to a screen that said the survey was closed.
The Brattleboro Fire Department is currently developing an EMS study and is seeking community input as part of that process. The Department has launched a brief online survey soliciting input and opinions from the Brattleboro community. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31.
Per the request of the Brattleboro Selectboard, I am to provide a monthly EMS update relative to the operations and any pertinent data collected. The last update was provided on July 19, 2022. This update is representative of that date till the date written on August 9, 2022.
Since July 1, 2022, the Brattleboro Fire Department (BFD) has responded to 313 EMS calls and 132 fire- related emergencies. On August 2, 2022, the BFD answered an astonishing 28 calls for service. 21 of those emergencies were EMS calls and 2 of the 28 were working fires in the Town of Hinsdale NH. To this date, no mutual aid has been requested into the Town of Brattleboro by the BFD.
BRATTLEBORO, Vermont (Wednesday, July 20, 2022) — The Vermont State Police is continuing its investigation early Wednesday morning into the fatal police shooting of the person of interest in the disappearance and death of a missing Massachusetts woman, 23-year-old Mary Anderson.
Following notification of next of kin, the state police is able to release the preliminary identification of the deceased man: Matthew Davis, 34, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His body will be transported to the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of his death.
The fatal shooting occurred in a wooded area between Bonnyvale Road and South Street southwest of Western Avenue in West Brattleboro.
Tuesday’s Select Board meeting and an article in today’s Brattleboro Reformer brought to the surface a major issue with crime, especially in the downtown area. Various Select Board members chimed in both in the meeting and in the press. It rather hurt to see a friend of mine with his picture on the front page this morning given the circumstances.
Tim Wessel is quoted in the Reformer as saying:
“I live downtown and I have to say there’s an increase in the feeling of lawlessness occurring,” he said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “Whether it’s flower pots being overturned, business windows being smashed, unlocked cars being rifled through, or loud cars speeding recklessly through family neighborhoods, a lot of folks have been reaching out to me to say that it feels a little more like the Wild West in Brattleboro, and I agree.”
But, little known to many, actually including some Select Board members, Chief Hardy was a victim of the rapid shift away from Rescue Inc as well and she had no part in that decision that I am aware of.
I. Call to Order and Quorum Check
II. Review of Agenda
III. Review and Approval of Minutes from March 2022
IV. Review of Compliments and Complaints from BPD