Grills Chief Carli on recruit’s role
By JOSH RESNEK
Councilor Fred Capone questioned Fire Chief Anthony Carli about 20 new firefighter hires against the backdrop of Everett firefighters having fought two major fires during the weekend.
New firefighters haven’t joined day-to-day line forces in Everett for the past five years.
Firefighting suppression resources have been lacking here.
The chief was quick to defend the department, which is now training approximately 20 new firefighters to act as EMTs first and firefighters second, as the city morphs into having its own emergency ambulance service.
A five-alarm fire in Revere on Endicott Avenue brought Everett firefighters to the scene on a nearly all-day call which required mutual aid companies from out of the city to be stationed in firehouses here.
A day following that fire, a fire on Bellingham Avenue emptied Everett’s firehouses again until the fire was suppressed.
Carli told the city council Monday night that the new hires were put on the payroll as of April 5 and are involved in a two-tier training program with Cataldo Ambulance as EMTs and with the fire department as firefighters.
“I’m very pleased with the program,” said the chief.
Capone begged to differ.
“I’d prefer that all these new hires be utilized as firefighters specializing in fire suppression as much as possible during this training period,” Capone said.
“They are spending a lot of time with EMT training. Maybe it would be better if they spent more time on training as firefighters,” Capone added.
Despite being served by Cataldo Ambulance, the city is embarking on running its own emergency ambulance service.
While the chief could not detail the staffing requirements prior to union discussions that are about to take place, he mentioned there would be at least one ambulance to be served by the 20 new hires.