Fire Commission discusses Chief’s exams, active grievances

Left to right: Commissioner Patrick Olearcek, Chairman Albert Masciadrelli, and Acting Fire Chief Andy Hart. (Photo by Peter Currier)

WESTFIELD- The Westfield Fire Commission convened for its last regularly scheduled monthly meeting of 2018 on Tuesday at station 2.

Chairman Albert Masciadrelli and Commissioner Patrick Olearcek were present along with Acting Chief Andy Hart. Commissioner Carlo Bonavita was absent.

Acting Chief Hart noted that the second fire in six months happened in the vicinity of station 2 within the last month.

“I think it’s important having this station where it is,” said Hart, “the odds of two fires happening directly across the street are pretty slim too. But I guess they’re not.”

Masciadrelli said that assessment activity for the fire chief series exam has ended. The only name on the Westfield 2018 Fire Chiefs Series eligible is Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Egloff.

“As for appointing a chief at this point, I have no information whatsoever,” said Masciadrelli, “As soon as the trigger is pulled, we will move on that very rapidly.”

The commission addressed the five active grievances within the department submitted by Westfield Fire Department Union Local 1111. The committee was advised by the legal department to not address the grievances in detail. The committee carried the grievances over to 2019 and will request that the Law Department be present at the next meeting in January.

There was some confusion among the commission regarding the Massachusetts Civil Service Statewide Deputy Fire Chief promotional exam. The exam is scheduled for May 18, 2019, but there are no qualified Deputies in Westfield on the list to take the exam. Hart said that adding someone to the list at this point would not give them enough time to prepare for the exam.

The exam for 2019 had never been requested after the 2018 exam had been cancelled. Olearcek requested that the Personnel Department as well as the Law Department be present at the next meeting in order to clear up the question of who has power to cancel the exams.

“We will adjust the dates of the next meeting if we have to so they can both be here,” said Olearcek.

Hart said that he would bring up the issue of adding people to the exams list at short notice at an officer’s meeting next week. The Commission came close to calling for an exam anyway, however it was pointed out that if four Captains cannot be found to take it, Privates may opt in instead. The commission then declined to call for the exam.


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