Phil Thibault resigns from Planning Board

Looks like Phil Thibault has a lot of new Dracut business coming in. As an architect, he has decided that the additional work he is doing in town will have a conflict with his role on the Planning Board, so felt it was best for him to leave that position.

Here I post the interview we did with him yesterday on 980 WCAP radio.

Once again, just in case you missed it, here you get the actual interview unedited, unbiased and complete..

Joe DiRocco, Mike Miles on 980 WCAP

Great show yesterday morning as Selectman (and former Fire Chief) Joe DiRocco came in to give a strong opinion on the recently released Fire Department Risk Assessment , mostly about the anonymous quotes attributed to firefighters that were included in the public release.

Partway through the interview, former School Committee member and Police Officer Mike Miles called in to also attack the ethics of the choice of the interim police chief.. being that he was part of the team that did the assessment on the police department.

Great discussion, that I’m sure will continue over the next month(s).

And here you can listen to the actual interview, rather than just what others say about it.

Dracut Fire Department Risk Assessment

Here I post the Risk Assessment report that was recently completed on the Dracut Fire Department.

First we have the summary : Dracut MA Fire Compilation of Recommendations from REVISED FINAL REPORT TO CLIENT 08-11-16

And here we have the complete report : Dracut MA Fire REVISED FINAL REPORT TO CLIENT 08-11-16

This will be discussed over the next few weeks on many venues, so its best to have the source material on hand.


Fire Department: Review of the review

I’ve done a cursory review of the fire department risk assessment compilation of recommendations.

Internal strife?  Haven’t been hearing about that around town.

There are a lot of items that are what I consider internal to the department.. operating procedures, equipment, facilities. We expected those recommendations.

There are some interesting recommendations here: addina a deputy chief who is outside the union and removing the chief from civil service are first.

Second, they recommend breaking the union into two.. one for the lower level firefighters and one for the “managers” who supervise them. This makes the grievance process more fair, as the same union is not involved in both sides of a grieveance.

An updaed policies and procedure manual, SOP, etc, is always a good recommendation.

A new firestation for Collinsville, we already have in progress.

The reviewers are advocates of the regional dispatch center (which financially doesn’t seem to be going anywhere yet).

Staffing, of course, should get to 3 people on a truck.

There are some significant issues with regard to EMS serviices, especially important as we are in the middle of an ambulance contract (and possible switch to a new service provider).

More methods of communication.. we get it, you can always use that.

One recommendation is periodic, what we call where I work “skip level meetings” where the chief would meet with all the members of one unit in an open discussion.

There is a whole section here that seems to imply there is a lack of communication.. calling for the cheif to “adopt a more inclusive management style” and make the officers meetings “an open and honest exchange of information”.

The biggest issue I see is an item called “Internal Strife” stating that there are “fractured relationships” that need to be rebuilt. The reviewers also call for a Labor-Management initiative to “help develop and improve cooperative and collaborative relationships, thereby avoiding critical labor-management issues, disputs and costly arbitrations.”

I’ll post the entire reports later for your perusal.