Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston's Emergency First Responders - The Introduction

by Ken Henderson

Our department of Fire and Emergency Services, usually referred to as the Fire Department, is an amazing assemblage of service providers that we all rely on to respond when emergencies occur. We see and hear these teams responding to a wide variety of calls anytime day or night.

In a series of occasional articles, this reporter will explore the workings of these front-line responders and highlight what it takes to do the job.

Fire Chief Michael Cassidy, hired by the Board of Selectmen, is charged with initiating and sustaining the preparedness of the department. His chain of command fosters the expectation that you know and do your job. (sounds like Bill Belichick)

Communicating effectively is vital to a department that has so many “on call” responders.  Dispatchers located at the fire house, initiate the call to the force whether it’s an ambulance run or a fire/safety response that’s needed. The different squawks of their pager keep responders aware of the situation.

Chief Cassidy’s management duties extend to budgets, forecasting future needs of the department, personnel requirements, advancement within the department, grant writing, awareness of latest firefighting and public safety regulations, integration of technology and inspections. (he doesn’t do windows though! Yet…)

Currently, the department has a Ladder truck, 4 Engines, and a rescue truck.  Three of the Engines are stationed throughout the town at substations.  The crew for each fire truck trains weekly to know all the jobs needed for their equipment to run well. Overall, there are about 90 responders that are available in shifts to turn out to fire and/or medical calls.

Two primary ambulances and one reserve are housed at the Central firehouse. Crews train bi-weekly to be prepared for medical emergencies for a wide variety of situations and to keep up with the ever-changing advances in emergency medical treatment.

The demand to be “on call” and to respond at a moment’s notice is a requirement that interrupts lives and families during birthdays, holiday meals, special events and a good night’s sleep. This is the commitment these people make to be there for us in our time of need.

In future articles, we’ll take a deeper look at what it takes to do some of the jobs of emergency responders that serve us so well. (maybe some cool pictures, too)

Stay tuned . . .

Comments (2)

What Henry said. Me too!

Jean Morrissey | 2019-02-18 07:12:12

Thank you Ken for bringing to the towns people, what makes the Holliston Fire Dept. the pride of Holliston. Surrounding towns are envious of our Fire Dept, even ones with full time departments. I am looking forward to more articles.

Henry Dellicker | 2019-02-16 06:55:41