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Archive of Past Articles 2009
Nov 24, 2009

Rockland Fire has been awarded $186,875 in Stimulus Funds.

Once again the Rockland Firefighters have been successful in securing grant funding for the Rockland fire department. This grant money is one time funding to assist with staffing. We appreciate all those that helped us to secure this stimulus grant.


Help on way to fire departments

$1.75 million in stimulus money coming to South Shore to boost public safety

Patriot Ledger State House Bureau
Posted Nov 24, 2009 @ 04:52 AM


About $1.75 million in stimulus money has been awarded to South Shore communities this fall to rehire 18 laid-off firefighters, hire nine new ones and boost their overtime and per diem budgets.

Kingston will also get $15,000 for its police department to cover overtime costs.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday announced the second phase of stimulus grants for public safety: $17.8 million for 35 police departments and 85 fire departments across the state to retain and rehire staff.

Locally, three police departments and 11 fire departments benefited. Oct. 7 when six South Shore communities got a portion of $8.1 million for rehiring laid-off firefighters.

Nearly 150 cities and towns received more than $15 million in police grants from the federal government earlier this year, said Terrel Harris, spokesman for the state Executive Office of Public Safety.

There was no comparable opportunity for fire departments, he said.

South Shore fire chiefs – who were required to apply for the money and outline how it would be used – reported Monday that they received less than they requested.

Rockland Fire Chief Robert Dipoli, who also serves on the executive board of Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, said he was prepared for that.

His department received nearly $187,000, or about 40 percent of what it requested.

He said he knew that, statewide, the amount requested by departments was nearly double what was available.

Area chiefs say they have different plans for how to use the money.

“I was hoping for a little bit more, to tell you the truth,” Chief Ronald A. Nastri of the Taunton Fire Department said. “Beggars can’t be choosers, though; I’ll take what I can get.”

The department was awarded $129,290, roughly half the amount it requested. Nastri said he hopes to hire two firefighters with the money and spend the rest on overtime pay to increase day-to-day staffing levels. The department’s last three retirements have gone unfilled, he said, reducing manpower to 121 firefighters.

The Plymouth Fire Department, which recently eliminated five positions through attrition, was awarded $174,225 of the $232,300 it requested.

Fire Chief G. Edward Bradley said the money will be spent exclusively on overtime pay for firefighters to “keep the manpower up to a level that’s safe.”

Hiring firefighters requires months of training time and thousands of dollars in equipment expenses.

“(Our firefighters) already have gear, and they’re trained,” Bradley said. “This way we get more bang for our buck.”

Some departments that applied for money said the scaled-back amount they were awarded is less than what it costs to hire someone.

Braintree was awarded $32,301 after requesting $161,500 to hire, train and equip two new firefighters.

The amount is too small to hire even one firefighter, so the town must now determine if federal guidelines permit it to be spent on overtime instead, said Peter Morin, chief of staff to Mayor Joseph Sullivan.

Abington Fire Chief Arthur Pelland said his department will spend its $43,579 grant on overtime as well.

An 8 percent budget cut this year forced the department to reduce one of its four shifts from five to four firefighters, which means the fire station is occasionally unstaffed.

Pelland said the grant, half what the department requested, is not enough to hire a firefighter to cover the shift. Instead, he hopes the money will cover overtime expenses.

Carver’s on-call fire department was awarded $20,310. Firefighters there are paid per call, not a salary.

Chief Craig Weston said the money should be enough to train four new firefighters and bring manpower to 74, one shy of the department’s target.

“Any amount that we receive is graciously accepted,” he said.

Harris, the spokesman for the state’s office of public safety, said departments will need to sign contracts with the state to receive the funding and may be allowed to resubmit their budgets to better reflect how they’ll use the money.

For example, Dipoli, the Rockland chief, said he may now want to spend his money on staff support instead of new hires.

“The money is only good for 12 months,” he said. “We need to consider how the budget will be next year.”

Nov 17, 2009

Once again the Rockland Firefighters will be collecting
Toys for Tots.
Toys may be dropped off at the Fire Station
360 Union Street

We are accepting New and Unwrapped Toys only.
Thank you for your donations.

Nov 14, 2009

Photos courtesy of Pat Travers (

11/14/2009 - Pat Travers ( The Rockland MA Fire Department responded to the Best Western Hotel at 909 Hingham Street around 0720 hours for a reported fire in the building. They found a small fire in a bathroom on floor-1. One line was stretched to knock down the fire.

Nov 02, 2009

Group 4 works to extinguishes a car fire behind Home Depot on 10-22-2009.
Photos by Stephanie Spyropoulos,

Oct 07, 2009
Open House a Success.... Thank You

Despite the poor weather our annual Open House on October 3rd was a huge success. A few hundred people stopped by during the Open House to learn about fire safety and prevention. Many brave souls even ventured outside in the poring rain to watch the "Jaws of Life" extrication demonstration and look at the Ladder truck, many others chose to watch the "jaws" demonstration from the dry sanctuary of the fire station. We would like to thank the public for stopping by and spending time to learn about the Rockland Fire Department. We would also like to thank Domino's Pizza Rockland, Lou's Auto Body, and the Rockland School Department, as well as any other supporters that we missed for their donations and help with this event.
Oct 05, 2009

Rockland arena evacuated after chemical leak

Speedy evacuation prevented multiple injuries, fire official says

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Oct 05, 2009 @ 04:23 AM


The Bavis Arena was evacuated Sunday after a chemical leak caused by a burst pipe put patrons at risk of inhaling carbon monoxide.

The arena has been temporarily shut down because the pipe carried, a chemical that is used to cool the rink. The leak caused the rink’s temperature to drop too low.

An investigation to determine why the pipe burst was begun.

“The only reason that we didn’t have multiple injuries from the carbon monoxide was because the arena was evacuated so quickly,” Lt. Craig Erickson of the Rockland Fire Department said. “The staff did a fine job in getting everybody out.”

The arena, at 180 VFW Drive, was very crowded when the incident occurred, officials said.

Firefighters arrived at about 1:15 p.m. and noticed a light smoke coming from the rear of the building.

After the arena was evacuated, the fire department cleared the carbon monoxide until the interior air was back to normal. They then allowed patrons to go back inside and retrieve belongings.

Bavis Arena management could not be reached for comment Sunday evening. The arena, part of the Massachusetts Sports Club, is used by hockey camps and leagues.

Sep 22, 2009
Fire Prevention Week
Fire Department Open House
October 3rd, 2009 from 10am-2pm

The Rockland Firefighters and the Rockland Fire Department will be hosting an "Open House" on Saturday October 3rd, 2009 from 10am until 2pm in honor of Fire Prevention Week. The Fire Station is located at 360 Union St. Our open house is free to the public and there will be free refreshments served during the day.

The festivities include:
  • Fire Safety Presentations
  • "Jaws of Life" vehicle extrication demonstration
  • Aerial Ladder display
  • Ambulance and Paramedic displays
  • "Live  Fire" demonstration
  • Up close looks at the fire trucks!
  • and Much More....
The citizens and firefighters of Rockland often cross paths on many different occasions for many reasons. Most often these are unpleasant and stressful times for both groups. Our open house offers an opportunity to meet the people we all rely so heavily on during an emergency, in a relaxed and personal setting and have any questions regarding the challenges facing public safety service in Rockland answered.

Sparky the Fire Dog® needs your help to help spread the word about this year's Fire Prevention Week theme: "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned." Use the materials in this section to learn how to prevent burns and keep your home fire safe.

Here are some more fun activities:

Sep 11, 2009
Rockland Firefighters Remember 9-11-01


Members of the Rockland Fire Department paused on Friday to remember those lost on 9-11-01. At 8:46 AM the memorial was begun with words from Fire Chief Robert DiPoli and a prayer read by Father O'Driscoll of the Holy Family Church. A special American flag containing the names of the 343 FDNY brothers that were lost was raised and Box 5-5-5-5 was transmitted on the roof horn. Deputy Ferguson read the firefighter poem "When You Weep For Me." Moments of Silence were again held at 9:59 and 10:28 in front of our memorial. Never Forget.


IAFF Remembers 9/11 Tragedy

September 11, 2009 – Today marks the eighth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our country which took the lives of 347 dedicated IAFF members. As set forth by “Resolution 9/11: Fire Fighter Day of Remembrance” passed at the 2006 IAFF Convention, IAFF members are encouraged to solemnly recognize this day “as a Day of Remembrance for all fire fighters who fall in the line of duty everywhere.”

September 11, 2001 was the darkest day in the IAFF’s 90-year history. Not before or since have we lost so many of our brothers or sisters in a single day. This union responded by raising and distributing more than $160 million dollars to the families of our members and by establishing and continuing to this day counseling services to assist those who served with our fallen and to help them recover.

Every fire fighter life is as precious to us as any member of our family would be. A feeling of great sadness and loss spreads across our union each time we lose a member of our fire fighting family.

Since 9/11, nearly 700 IAFF fire fighters in the United States and Canada have given their lives in the line of duty. So, today, let us remember the 347 who made the ultimate sacrifice at Ground Zero and never forget all of our fallen brothers and sisters.

"When you weep for me"

Brother when you weep for me
Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave
Remember I'll be at your sleeve
In every dark and choking hall
I'll be there as you slowly crawl
On every roof in driving snow
I'll hold your coat and you will know
In cellars hot with searing heat
At windows where a gate you meet
In closets where young children hide
You know I'll be there at your side
The house from which I now respond
Is overstaffed with heroes gone
Men who answered one last bell
Did the job and did it well
As firemen we understand
That death's a card dealt in our hand
A card we hope we never play
But one we hold there anyway
That card is something we ignore
As we crawl across a weakened floor
For we know that we're the only prayer
For anyone that might be there
So remember as you wipe your tears
The joy I knew throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do
I pray that thought will see you through

-Author Unknown

Sep 10, 2009
Photo courtesy of Elaine Keefe
A steamroller is tipped over on Vinton Terrace in Rockland, injuring the driver's leg. He was transported to a nearby hospital.

Steamroller flips, driver injured

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Sep 09, 2009 @ 09:37 AM
Last update Sep 09, 2009 @ 09:49 AM


The driver of a steamroller was rushed to a hospital Wednesday morning after the vehicle tipped over on Vinton Terrace.

A crew is preparing the road for re-paving. Elaine Keefe was sitting in her kitchen at about 8 a.m. when she heard a man yelling that he had called for an ambulance, she said. When she looked out the window of her home, she saw a steamroller tipped over by the side of the road and a man sitting on the curb with his legs outstretched.

“He was holding his leg but he seemed pretty calm,” Keefe said of the injured man.

The man was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Police and fire officials said they could not comment on the incident Wednesday morning.

Aug 24, 2009

Photos by Jim Hudson. Click photo for more photos

ROCKLAND - MA   (PLYMOUTH  COUNTY) - Around 2 am on Monday 8-24-09 the Rockland Fire Department responded to a box at EMD/Serono Laboratories at 1 Technology Place. Building security reported smoke in the building. The Serono building is split between Hingham and Rockland with half of the building in each town. In addition to Rockland's response of our Engine 2 and Ladder 1, the Hingham Fire Department responded a ladder, an engine, and an ambulance to the scene. On arrival the companies found alarms ringing and light smoke in the building. Box 33 was immediatly struck for manpower. 
      When the crews made entry, there was initially light smoke inside the lobby. The fire was reported in the Cafeteria. Hingham fire crews reported heavy smoke conditions. Sprinklers had activated in the kitchen and were holding the fire from extending beyond the kitchen area. The small fire was contained in that area and the cause was believed to be electrical and was shortly knocked down. No injuries were reported. Rockland station coverage was provided from Abington. A second alarm was struck due to the size and occupance of the building.

Story and photos by Jim Hudson
Aug 24, 2009

Click pictures for more pictures

Rockland Fire Department Conducts Fire Extinguisher Training

The Rockland Fire Department conducted a 2 day training session on fire extinguishers for ITW/TACC, a local adhesives manufacturer. Their process involves several highly flammable chemicals, and it is imperative that the employees know and understand the proper use of fire extinguishers. Previously, the employees had been discharging extinguishers at a non flaming target, but were unhappy with the results. John Kupiac, Plant Facilities Manager for TACC, contacted the Rockland Fire Department about the possibility of doing live fire training. Deputy Chief William Ferguson agreed to formulate a class for them.


Over two recent days approximately 37 employees were trained to recognize the different classes of fire, the proper extinguishers to use on those fires, and safe practices when fighting fires. The first part of the training consisted of classroom instruction and DVD presentations by Deputy Ferguson and members of RE Lyons and Sons Extinguisher Company of Rockland.


After completing the classroom portion the employees were then brought outside and taught how handle a fire extinguisher under live fire conditions. Each employee was guided close to the live fire by Deputy Ferguson who instructed them in actually putting out the fire. The training fire was set in a 55 gallon drum cut in half sideways, filled with Diesel fuel. The entire live fire portion was conducted under the watchful eye of firefighters in full protective gear, acting as safety personnel, in the event of a wind shift or extinguisher failure.


One of the most important points that the students took away from the class is the ability to recognize a fire that is beyond the control of one person with one extinguisher. Deputy Ferguson also stressed the importance of keeping yourself from getting hurt and when to call for help.


The Rockland Fire Department wishes to express our thanks to Ray and Terri Lyons for donating the fire extinguishers and handouts for the class as well as John Nuttall (an off duty Captain from the Abington Fire Department) and Brian Bailey, both employees of RE Lyon’s Fire Extinguisher, for their assistance at the class.

Aug 18, 2009

Police release name of motorcyclist fatally injured in Rockland collision

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 20, 2009 @ 02:21 AM


Nick Barros, a 29-year-old sprinkler fitter, knocked off work early on Tuesday and started up his motorcycle for an afternoon ride.

As Barros cruised down West Water Street, a 1997 Saturn was going the other way. It’s driver, Jonathan J. Whittall, 19, was headed for his girlfriend’s house.

Rockland police say Whittall, attempting to make a left turn into a driveway, veered across Barros’ path. In the resulting collision, Barros was thrown from the motorcycle and critically injured. He later died at South Shore Hospital.

Whittall, of 555 Webster St., Rockland, has been charged with motor vehicle homicide and cited for failure to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn, according to a press release from the Rockland Police Department.

The accident occurred at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. Police waited until Wednesday afternoon to release the operators’ names so that Barros’ wife and family could be notified first.

Barros, who grew up in Weymouth, had worked for about eight years at Mass Fire Prevention Inc., a Rockland company that installs fire sprinkler systems.

John Gannon, the company’s president, said Barros oversaw a small crew that installed sprinkler systems in day care centers, rooming houses and office buildings around the state. Gannon said Barros was a top-performing apprentice, a talented worker who was among the youngest sprinkler journeymen in the state when he was hired.

“We’re a 12-man company ... and real tight-knit,” Gannon said. “He is going to be sorely missed – and irreplaceable.”

Ron Lazisky, a field supervisor for the company, said he had been friends with Barros since childhood. Several weeks ago, they each bought motorcycles and spent recent weekends participating in charity rides. The motorcycle Barros bought was a 2005 Yamaha.

“He was the best man in my wedding,” Lazisky, 32, said. “We all loved him.”

Lazisky said Barros and his wife, Danielle, moved from Taunton to Rockland earlier this year and wanted to buy a home in town. In the meantime, the couple had been staying at 54 Highland St. with Barros’ relatives.

“Nick was a wonderful, wonderful person,” said Johanna Spry, who lives at the home. “Everyone is just devastated.”

Peter Chernick of the Rockland Police Department, an accident reconstruction officer, is investigating the crash.

Whittal could not be reached for comment.

Teresa L. Martin of 495 Water St. said Whittal is her daughter’s boyfriend and was pulling into her driveway when the accident occurred.

Motorcyclist dies in Rockland accident

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 19, 2009 @ 05:37 AM


A 29-year-old motorcyclist is dead and a 19-year-old has been charged with motor vehicle homicide after an accident Tuesday on West Water Street in Rockland.

The 19-year-old was driving his 1997 Saturn east on West Water Street trying to turn left when he struck the 29-year-old on his 2005 Yamaha motorcycle at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to Rockland police.

The motorcyclist was taken to South Shore Medical Center with severe injuries and later died, according to Rockland police and fire.

Rockland police are waiting to release the names of those involved until families are notified.

The 19-year-old, who was unhurt in the accident, also is being charged with failure to yield to oncoming traffic.

Fatal crash on West Water Street

By Mikaela Slaney

Tue Aug 18, 2009, 05:58 PM EDT 

Rockland police and fire responded to a fatal crash at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon on West Water Street.


Preliminary reports suggested that a motorcyclist and a UPS truck collided, and the driver of the motorcycle died from injuries sustained during the crash.


Interim fire chief Robert DiPoli said he did not know the name, age or hometown of the deceased male motorcyclist.


“I believe he expired, at South Shore Hospital,” DiPoli said two hours following the accident. “He was in very very bad condition when we found him on the street.”

When he arrived, DiPoli said a UPS truck was parked on the street near the motorcyclist.

“The Rockland fire fighters treated the gentlemen and transported him to south shore hospital.  The guys did an admirable job trying to save him, but apparently the injuries were too drastic to overcome.”

More updates will follow as this story progresses...

Jul 15, 2009

Retired Needham Fire Chief answers the bell for Rockland

By Mikaela Slaney

Thu Jul 16, 2009, 12:38 PM EDT

Rockland - For now, Rockland has a fire chief.

After sifting through several applications to fill the interim position, Rockland selectmen invited back three qualified candidates who have served as fire chiefs in other towns.

Finally, Robert A. DiPoli, former chief in Needham, was selected to serve as chief for the next nine months and assist in leading the department, and finding a permanent chief. He begins his stint Aug. 3.

“I would love the challenge to lead your department,” DiPoli told selectmen Monday night.

DiPoli, a Medfield resident, was in firefighting for 35 years. He was promoted in his fourth year on the job, and rose through the ranks until he became chief, a position he held for 15 years.

“That’s very impressive,” Selectman Lawrence Chaffee noted of DiPoli’s quick rise through the ranks.

DiPoli retired from his position as Needham Fire Chief four years ago.

While serving as the Needham chief, DiPoli said he helped secure grants for the town. He also worked with a significantly higher budget at $5.9 million, due to the affluent nature of the town, DiPoli added.

After his 15 years of serving as chief, DiPoli said he left the town on good terms, and Needham would be willing to hire him back if he chose to accept the position. However, DiPoli said he is only willing to take the position in Rockland because it is not permanent.

The Rockland board listened to DiPoli and two former chiefs, Dennis Dowd of Winchendon, Mass., and Robert Sullivan from Milton, and motioned to accept DiPoli’s application with little discussion.

DiPoli received a fire science degree at Mass Bay Community College. He is a graduate of the Chief Fire Officer program at the UMass Donahue Institute.

He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program.

Acting fire chief William Ferguson originally expressed interest in becoming the full time chief in Rockland, however he later decided he wanted to be relieved from the position by Aug. 3.

Ferguson took over for Chief Michael Sammon, who was the chief from 2003 until he retired in November.

Ferguson was appointed to the interim chief position in January, and had submitted his application to keep the role on a full-time basis.

Although Ferguson refused to comment on the reasoning at that time, Town Administrator Alan Chiocca said there may have been differences of opinion about the fire chief’s role.

Rockland selectmen appoint interim fire chief

Name retired former Needham chief

GateHouse News Service
Posted Jul 15, 2009 @ 02:17 AM


Rockland selectmen have appointed the former chief of the Needham Fire Department to serve as Rockland’s interim fire chief beginning in October.

Robert A. DiPoli of Medfield was chief of the Needham department from 1989 until his retirement in 2004.

He is director of governmental affairs for the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts. In 2004, he was elected president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

He is expected to work in Rockland for six to nine months and be available for emergency response at all times. Pension regulations allow him to work 960 hours per year.

The town’s current interim fire chief is scheduled to retire at the end of this summer.

When the selectmen began discussing the creation of a “public safety director” position to be filled by the police chief, the union opposed it and the idea was dropped.

A big problem for the fire department is overtime, the cost of which has reached $9,700 per week at times this year.

Selectmen have yet to negotiate the terms of DiPoli’s contract.

Jul 06, 2009

Jun 30, 2009

Saturday’s ashes ignite Monday fire in Rockland

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jun 02, 2009 @ 03:08 AM


Ashes from a chiminea outdoor fireplace last used Saturday ignited a shed about 1:30 a.m. Monday, Rockland fire officials said.

Two engines arrived at the home at 72 Vernon St. and found the 18-by-18-foot shed and nearby fence engulfed in flames.

They had the fire under control in about 10 minutes, Fire Chief William Ferguson said.

There were no injuries, but the shed and its contents, primarily power tools and shop equipment, were a total loss.

The house occupants used a chiminea Saturday night and let it burn out instead of extinguishing it, Ferguson said.

The ashes apparently burned through Sunday and until Monday morning, when the homeowners’ grandson emptied them onto a debris pile near the shed, Ferguson said.

Fire officials advised the public to be careful with outdoor fires, never use chimineas or fire pits on wooden surfaces and thoroughly extinguish fires.

Jun 30, 2009
Photos by Jim Hudson

House Fire 7 Pine Hill Terr. on 6-26-09

Jun 16, 2009

Rockland Firefighters President Tom Henderson with PFFM President Bob McCarthy at the press conference

The Rockland Firefighters wish to express our sincere thanks to all of those that came to our press conference and the Selectmen's meeting on June 15th to support our opposition to a Public Safety Director.  Without the support of the members of our local, PFFM President McCarthy, the PFFM and the large number of members from other locals our position would not have been heard. The battle is not over and we must remain vigilant to make sure that the search for our fire chief remains in the fire service.
Thank You,
Tom Henderson, President Local 1602

Selectmen under fire: Union members say Rockland board violated Town Charter

GateHouse News Service
Posted Jun 17, 2009 @ 12:01 PM


So far, the position of fire chief in Rockland is still up for grabs.

Officials say one option to cover this position would be the hiring of a public safety director, who would be in charge of the police and fire departments simultaneously.

Although selectmen have not made a finalized decision, Rockland Firefighters Local 1602 are quite unhappy with this possibility.

Union president Tom Henderson and Robert McCarthy, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, took turns at a podium in front of more than a dozen silent firefighters outside the station on Union Street station Monday evening.

“Today we stand before you to voice our strong opposition to the Rockland Board of Selectmen’s proposal to eliminate the Rockland fire and police chief, to create a public safety director,” Henderson said. “Our selectmen are blatantly violating the Town Charter.”

Henderson said a safety director lacks knowledge and experience to effectively direct the fire department, which works to keep 17,000 citizens in the town safe.

“These are all critical decisions, that affect the safety of residents,” Henderson said.

Henderson added this decision should not be made without input from the residents, who the decision would directly affect.

Henderson added a public safety director would be partial to one department over another, which would prove to be a problem if there was a fire and a robbery at the same time.

But Town Administrator Alan Chiocca said a public safety director is only one possibility being considered.

“The selectmen are supporting all options available,” Chiocca said. “At this time they’ve delayed filling the vacancy for at least two weeks based on an offer by the Plymouth County Fire Chief’s association to assist Rockland in gaining the services of maybe a retired chief for maybe an interim period of time.”

Chiocca added selectmen may discuss the matter again at their June 29 meeting. And before that meeting, Chiocca added the board plans to meet with candidates and members of the association to try to discuss options for a temporary chief.

Although there is no deadline on the matter, Acting Fire Chief William Fergusson, has said he would like to be relieved of chief duties by Aug. 3.

“Somewhere down the line, if they wanted to have a safety director, they’d need a Charter change,” Chiocca said. “But the board recognizes that it wants to explore its options.”

McCarthy said this would be an option the fire department would be dead against, adding he fears selectmen would choose a “puppet who tells selectmen what they want to hear.”

McCarthy stressed firefighters would be risking their lives under the watch of a public safety director.

“When they go into a building, we don’t come out unless someone tells them to,” McCarthy said. “I will sue (selectmen) … if one of my members gets killed, one of my members gets injured, if one of my members loses property.”

Rockland Standard

Firefighter unions help defeat idea to appoint a public safety director in Rockland

Posted Jun 16, 2009 @ 11:51 AM
Last update Jun 16, 2009 @ 01:45 PM


About 50 firefighters from 10 towns packed the selectmen room on Monday to oppose replacing the position of fire chief with that of a public safety director.

 The town’s fire chief retired last year, and its current deputy chief is scheduled to retire this summer. Selectmen had scheduled the discussion of a “public safety director” position to be filled by current Police Chief John R. Llewellyn.

But the idea was killed, partly due to comments from Llewellyn himself.

Robert B. McCarthy, president of the Professional Fire Fighters Massachusetts AFL-CIO, argued that firefighting was a science and that it was imperative that the person in command have experience in the field.

 Putting someone who is inexperienced in firefighting in charge, he contended, would jeopardize not only residents but also firefighters.

 “We go into that burning building and we don’t come out until someone tells us to come out,” he said. “If he hesitates, we are not coming out.”

Police Chief Llewellyn said he doesn’t want to have conflict between the police and fire departments.

“It is important that we not be divided over public safety sector in any way,” he said.

He also acknowledged that firefighting was not his line of work.

“I don’t know the difference between white smoke and black smoke,” he said. “I don’t know the first thing fighting fires.”

Rockland firefighter union President Thomas Henderson told the board that to create the new position would violate the Town Charter, which stipulates that the board “shall appoint a fire chief ...” It makes no mention, he said, of a “public safety director.”

 He asked the board to “search for a new chief whether from inside or outside” the Rockland department.

 Selectmen Chairman James F. Simpson said after the meeting that his board had understood that appointing a public safety director required a change in the charter and would take at least a year.

 The board, he said, had no intention of putting any person in a position who lacked the needed experience, he said.

 The board agreed to have the police and fire chiefs meet on June 29 with Zupkofska and Selectmen Michael P. Johnson to work toward some solution. It will not be discussed at town meeting, he said.

Jun 12, 2009

Rockland Firefighters to Oppose Creation of New Public Safety Director


Press Conference Details:

Monday, June 15, 2009

5:45 pm

Rockland Fire Station

360 Union Street, Rockland MA

The Rockland Firefighters, along with members of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, will hold a press conference, Monday, June 15, to discuss their opposition to the town’s creation of a Public Safety Director. The matter is expected to be taken up, and possibly voted on, at the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Monday evening.

“The Board of Selectmen are attempting to circumvent the Town Charter by creating a Public Safety Director instead of a Fire Chief,” said union president Tom Henderson. “The Rockland Firefighters position is that we need an experienced firefighter as Fire Chief and Head of the Department. This individual needs to have knowledge and experience of our department, and be able to make sound decisions that relate to firefighter safety and accountability, fire behavior, building construction and emergency medical needs, all critical decisions that will ultimately contribute to the safety of this community.”

“The Selectmen need to understand that the Rockland Fire Department is more than just a budget,” Henderson continued.

Rockland has always had a Fire Chief, up until recently when the Chief retired. Since then, the Deputy Fire Chief has been acting as the Department Head.  At the June 1 Board of Selectmen’s meeting the Selectmen chose to focus on the creation of a Public Safety Director instead of searching for a qualified firefighter from within the fire service to serve as Fire Chief.

The Rockland Firefighters Local 1602 position of the need for a fire chief is supported by professional organizations of the fire service including the International Association of Firefighter, International Association of Fire Chief’s, National Fire Protection Association, and the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts.

Press_release_6-12-2009 web.doc

May 21, 2009

Double Fatal MVA with Severe Entrapment

Apr 30, 2009
Photos by Jim Hudson RFD-Intern Photo Division

Fire damages home of Abington couple who planned to wed Saturday

Posted Apr 30, 2009 @ 11:30 PM


Daniel Marino and his fiancee, Catherine Delano, were at a Cohasset church Thursday rehearsing for their dream wedding when they got a phone call informing them that their home at 299 North Ave. was in flames.

The two-alarm fire of undetermined origin rendered the two-floor house uninhabitable and destroyed nearly everything of value the young couple had accumulated — including her wedding dress, their wedding rings, tuxedos and the couple’s passports they need to travel to Antigua for their honeymoon.

Luckily, a neighbor rescued Delano’s beloved Brady, a 4-year-old Pug mix, from the heavy smoke and flames before nearly succumbing himself. He was rescued by another passer-by.

Family members were grateful no one got hurt.

“We’re glad they got the dog. That’s (Catherine’s) life, that dog,” said David Marino of Melbourne, Fla., Daniel’s father, who had traveled to Abington for the couple’s wedding that was set to take place Saturday in Cohasset.

He said the family isn’t sure if the wedding will still be held Saturday.

The future bride, who along with the future groom visited the fire scene later on Thursday, said she was just happy Brady was safe and unharmed.

“That’s all I care about,” she said.

Daniel Marino was too upset to talk.

Firefighters from Abington, Brockton, Whitman, Rockland, Norwell and Holbrook responded to the blaze, reported at 5:05 p.m. One firefighter suffered possible injuries related to the heat and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Abington Fire Chief Arthur J. Pelland said the fire may have started in the basement or in a rear section on the first floor and spread quickly through the walls and attic of the single-family home. Firefighters had the fire under control by 6 p.m.

The fire remains under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office, and the cause remains undetermined, Pelland said.

Firefighters cut two holes in the roof of the house to vent the dense smoke and heavy flames.

North Avenue resident Lester Carter said he was shocked when his daughter called to report smoke billowing from the couple’s house. He said he got there as quickly as he could.

“I didn’t know if anybody was inside the house. Then I heard a noise,” Carter said.

The noise sounded like a dog in distress. Carter said he smashed the front window, climbed inside the house and found Brady, terrified and nearly unconscious.

He grabbed the dog and rushed for the window, then nearly succumbed to the smoke.

Fortunately, another Abington resident, Jack Freeman, had seen the smoke and pulled both Carter and Brady to safety.

“I grabbed him and pulled him out the window,” Freeman said.

Sharon Carlson of 298 North Ave. said the first thing she saw was smoke billowing from her neighbor’s house.

“It was smoking. And then all of a sudden it was crazy smoking,” Carlson said.

David Marino said his son and future daughter-in-law have lived in the house for about two years and planned to live there as husband and wife.

Apr 28, 2009
Click above to go to the Photo Gallery for more pictures by Jim Hudson and Stephanie Spyropoulos.

Rockland Firefighter/Paramedics requested Boston Medflight to Hartsuff Park on Hingham St.  for a pediatric trauma patient who was involved in an ATV accident. The patient was taken to Tufts NEMC in Boston for treatment. No further information was available on the childs condition.

Rockland boy nearly severs arm in ATV accident

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Apr 29, 2009 @ 07:40 AM


A 6-year-old boy is being treated at a Boston hospital today after his right arm was nearly severed in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle.

The boy was riding a small gasoline-powered vehicle in the backyard of his Cobb Drive home at about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday while his father supervised, Rockland Fire Capt. Scott Duffy said.

The boy was wearing a helmet.

Fire officials said it was unclear how the accident happened. “We’re not sure if he started to fall off and tried to brace himself or whether he rolled over,” Duffy said.

The boy was flown by helicopter to Tufts Medical Center.

Apr 12, 2009

Photos by Pat Travers, Jim Hudson, Stephanie Spyropoulos, Bob Stella and Rob Reardon

Heavy Fire at Three Alarm Blaze in Rockland

By JIM HUDSON Correspondent  
1st Responder Network

ROCKLAND - MA (PLYMOUTH COUNTY) - In the early afternoon of April
11th 2009 the Rockland Fire Department received a call for a reported fire in a bedroom, on 873 Union St. Box 33 was struck shortly after the call to make all units and receivers aware of the reported house fire.

Once the Rockland Ladder and Engine 3 arrived on scene, a 2nd alarm was
immediately requested. This was due to the fact that the companies encountered heavy fire conditions and a large structure. Four Firefighters entered the building, but were shortly called out because conditions were too dangerous to work in.

After the firefighters were out, defensive operations took place. Rockland
Engine 3 and Ladder 1's heavy stream appliances were utilized to submerge the fire with hundreds of gallons of water. Portable monitors were also positioned in strategic places to contain the blaze. Rockland's Ladder, along with Whitman's ladder were working side by side to help wet down the blaze. But this was a hassle, because the roof of the building was made of metal/tin, causing the fire to act as a furnace. This made for a stressful situation for firefighters to face.

As conditions in the fire deteriorated, so didn't the weather. It was slightly
misting when the first crew's arrived, but about 2 hours into the fire, it began to have a mix of sleet and snow.

The fire after hours of battling, was knocked down around 8 pm, but shortly after rekindled and was taken care of in a matter of minutes. Intensive overhauling took place. Mutual aid was given to the scene and station. Some towns that provided mutual aid units were, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Hanover, Hingham, Norwell, Holbrook, Brockton and Weymouth. Some specialized vehicles arrived including, Brockton's Tactical Support Unit, Bridgewater's lighting unit, Department of Fire Services Incident Rehab Unit, Massachusetts State Police Fire Marshalls, and the Whitman CERT team.

One firefighter sustained minor injuries, but continued to battle the blaze without any hindrance. Surprisingly all of the family members made it out building safely without injuries. Firefighters rescued several animals, including dogs and birds.

Fire causes heavy damage to Rockland multi-family home

GateHouse News Service
Posted Apr 11, 2009 @ 05:17 PM
Last update Apr 11, 2009 @ 10:16 PM


Firefighters have battled for hours today against a three-alarm blaze that continues to engulfed a multi-family unit at 873 Union St.

The flames erupted around 3 p.m., according to fire officials, who said around 7 p.m. they expected to keep fighting the flames for at least another hour.

Police said no one had died in the fire, though it was not clear Saturday evening if there were any injuries.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Firefighters from Abington, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Weymouth and Whitman responded to the scene, while Brockton firefighters helped cover Rockland’s fire station.

Photo Links:

Link to start of Jim Hudson Photos: Click here

Link to start of Bob Stella Photos: Click here

Link to start of Rob Reardon Photos: Click here

Link to start of Stephanie Spyropoulos Photos: Click here

Link to Start of Pat Travers Photos: Click here

Dave Stewart's Fire Pics from the fire:

Additional Photo Links:

Pat Travers Fire Photo Site:

Stephanie Spyropoulos Fire Photo Site:

Apr 02, 2009

TOO MANY FIRES, TOO MANY DEATHS: Home fires are on the rise despite fire safety programs

Home fires on the rise despite safety programs

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Apr 02, 2009


It was a shock. But maybe it shouldn’t have been. Oudah Frawi and his two infant sons died last week when a fire gutted their basement apartment in Quincy. A month earlier, three Plymouth seniors died in two separate house fires, days apart.


13,441 residential fires in Massachusetts in 2007

454 firefighters injured

313 civilians injured

3 firefighters killed

61 civilians killed

$170 million in property damage

55% of fires are cooking related

1% are arson

Source: Mass. Fire Incident Reporting System

The blazes raised many questions, including: If fire safety is so rigorously taught in schools and community centers, with laws requiring sprinklers and detectors, why do more than 3,000 people die annually in residential fires?

“On some level, we’re victims of success,” said Lorraine Carli of the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy. “People aren’t as aware of fires, and not as many people feel like ‘that could happen to me.’”

And yet it’s happening more. Residential fires rose 11 percent statewide in 2007, according to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System. And the six South Shore fire fatalities in a month illustrate that the situation isn’t getting any better.

“It is very important that people still be very much aware of that fact, and aware that the vast majority of home fires can be prevented,” Carli said.

And more importantly, experts say, is that deaths in house fires can be prevented. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable, Deputy Fire Chief William Carrico of Duxbury said. Those aged 65 to 74 are twice as likely to die in a fire as the general population, and people 85 and older are more than five times as likely to die in a fire, the U.S. Fire Administration reports.

Carrico suggests that adult children conduct regular safety inspections in their parents’ homes, making sure that walkways are clear of tripping hazards and smoke detectors on every level are fully functional.

“There are a lot of smart people out there, regardless of how old they are,” he said. “We’re just reminding them of these safety issues.”

Fire officials said parents must pay special attention to young children. Practice is key so that kids, who might hesitate because they are too scared or confused to move, know what to do if an alarm sounds.

Children who learn how the alarm works, by participating in regular fire drills or pressing the button triggering the alarm themselves, will function better in case of a fire, Carrico said.

“A lot of kids are afraid of smoke detectors,” Carrico said. “When it goes off they cover their ears and start screaming because they don’t understand it’s an important tool.”

Fire safety experts stress making sure safeguards, like detectors and sprinklers, are working. The Plymouth home of Eduardo and Maria Rosa Tavares, who died Feb. 12, did not have working smoke detectors. Frawi’s apartment also didn’t have smoke detectors, and the building’s central fire alarm system was turned off and silent.

It’s imperative the whole family has, and knows, an escape plan – including charting two ways out of every room. When they see smoke or flames, residents should quickly leave the house, then call 911, said Jennifer Mieth, state Department of Fire Services spokeswoman.

If a family member is trapped in the house, wait for firefighters to arrive instead of risking injury by going back into the house, she said.

“Time is enemy in a fire,” she said. “A smoke detector will provide you with an early warning, and it’s important to use that early warning and get out of the house fast.”



Never leave the stove on: Seems obvious, but tThere were 7,448 residential cooking fires in Massachusetts in 2007, accounting for more than half of all residential fires in the state.

Clear out dryer lint: Firefighters recommend clearing out the clothes dryer lint filters after each cycle, as well as cleaning the outside vents every six months and occasionally vacuuming around the dryer’s motor. Not only will clothes dry faster, but there will be less old lint, dust, oil and flammable solvents.

Be careful with candles, cigarettes and incense: Keep anything that’s lit – including cigars, candles and more – from flammable material such as fabric, paper, wood, hair, alcohol and other solvents.

Mar 27, 2009


The Easter Bunny was at CVS/Pharmacy on Market St. on Friday to raise money for Easter Seals. Families were able to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny. All proceeds from the pictures and a bake sale by CVS employees were being donated to Easter Seals. The Rockland Firefighters stopped by to visit with the Easter Bunny.


Mar 17, 2009
Photos from 3/17/09 house fire on Pond in photo gallery. Photos by Stephanie Spyropoulos and Jim Hudson.

Fire in Rockland on Saint Patrick's Day
By JIM HUDSON Correspondent  
1st Responder Network,

ROCKLAND, MA (PLYMOUTH COUNTY) - Shortly after 4:30 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day in Rockland, multiple calls were coming into the fire station for a reported house fire on 256 Pond Street. Box 33 was struck and Rockland Ladder 1, Engine 3, and Engine 4 were dispatched.

Engine 3 arrived on scene and reported heavy smoke showing. The building was a two story, split level dwelling. Everybody was reported to be out of the house, safe and accounted for.

Fire Chief William Ferguson arrived on scene shortly after the first companies and requested Abington to cover the station while Norwell and Hingham had Engines responding to the scene of the fire.

The fire had been sparked in the basement of the dwelling and traveled up through the walls into the attic. Firefighters had an offensive attack on the fire to bring it to a halt. Some firefighters went onto the roof of the house and began sawing holes into the roof to get a better view of the fire and to help ventilate the structure.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m. the fire was knocked down and extensive overhauling needed to be done. There is no estimated cost of damages to house, but the house was said to be salvageable. The cause of the fire was said to be a water heater.

House fire in Rockland blamed on water heater

Fire department: No one injured; home can be saved

The Patriot Ledger


A malfunctioning water heater in the basement of a Rockland home started a fire that damaged the first floor and attic, fire officials said.

At 4:37 p.m. Tuesday, the Rockland Fire Department received a report of a fire at 256 Pond St., Lt. Donald Hussey said.

Sparked by the water heater, the fire began in the basement and spread up the flue pipe to the first floor and attic.

Firefighters, who arrived to find heavy smoke, were able to put out the fire by 5:30 p.m.

Hussey said the homeowners got out of the house safely. Nobody was hurt.

Personnel and equipment from the Norwell and Hingham fire departments assisted at the scene; the Abington department provided coverage at Rockland’s station.

Hussey did not have a monetary estimate of the damage, but he said the house was salvageable.

Reach Allison Manning at

Mar 10, 2009
Photos by Jim Hudson RFD-Intern, Photo Division

Two gas leaks in Rockland Tuesday

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Mar 10, 2009 @ 04:42 PM


Firefighters responded to two gas leaks in Rockland this afternoon.

At about 2 p.m. Tuesday, a construction worker at the Maple Street Apartments on Plain Street hit a gas line. The empty building, which is still under construction, filled with gas, Rockland Fire Chief William Ferguson said.

National Grid was able to shut the gas off, and Rockland and Abington firefighters spent about two hours opening windows in the four-floor apartment building so it could ventilate.

Emerson and Plain streets and part of Maple Street were blocked off for two hours. Firefighters cleared the site at about 4 p.m.

Shortly after the first leak, at about 2:15 p.m., a resident called about a gas leak at a house in the Millbrook neighborhood off of Beech Street.

Off-duty Rockland fire personnel and Hanson Fire responded and cleared out the house. National Grid was able to shut off the gas.

Hanover Fire Department covered Rockland’s station during the incidents.

Allison Manning may be reached at

Mar 02, 2009

Photos of Miniatures

New photo technique used to make pictures look like miniatures. This is a photo technique called "tilt shift". Browse through the gallery and take a look for yourselves. I am still working on how to "tilt shift" the photos, but I think they look pretty good so far. Thank you to those that found this type of photo and told me about them,   Marc.

Jan 27, 2009
Photos by Stephanie Spyropoulos ( and Jim Hudson RFD-Intern, Photo Division

Fire damages Rockland house

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jan 28, 2009 @ 06:22 AM
Last update Jan 28, 2009 @ 06:49 AM


Firefighters battling an electrical fire at a home on Crescent Street were able to limit most of the dmaage to the basement.

The fire was reported at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday, and the Rockland, Abington and Hanover fire departments responded. The all-clear was given at 3:15 p.m. There were no injuries.

In addition to fire damage in the basement and part of the first floor, there was smoke damage throughout the house, Lt. Donald Hussey of the Rockland Fire Department.

Homeowners Beverly and Edward Jones would not be able to stay in the house overnight, Hussey said.

The Whitman and Weymouth fire departments covered Rockland’s station while the fire was being fought.

Allison Manning may be reached at

Jan 24, 2009


Rockland soldier killed in Iraq had 'lots of plans'

The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jan 23, 2009 @ 01:40 PM
Last update Jan 24, 2009 @ 11:31 AM


Even as he was being deployed to Iraq, newlywed Matthew Pollini dreamed of building a life together with his wife, Sarah.

Matthew Pollini, 21, wanted to buy a home. He wanted to send his wife to nursing school, and he wanted to become a state trooper or firefighter once he returned from Iraq in October, Sarah said.

“We had lots of plans,” Sarah Pollini, 20, said. They were married in a simple ceremony at his family’s home on Dec. 22. He shipped out four days later.

Less than a month into his tour of duty, Pollini was killed Thursday when the Jeep he was riding in rolled over, said Rockland Veterans Service Agent Anton Materna.

His family said Pollini joined the 772nd Military Police Company, an Army National Guard Unit from Taunton, two or three years ago. He was stationed at the al Kut forward operating base, on the Tigris River about 30 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Standing outside the family’s Rockland home Friday, Sarah Pollini wept as Matthew’s brother, sisters and friends gathered around her. Family members could be heard sobbing inside the house.

Erica Pollini said her brother, one of six children aged 4 to 24, had always been self-sufficient. He collected cans when he was 7 to earn extra money. “He worked for what he wanted,” she said.

His wife said she met Pollini outside the Rockland Teen Center in 2006, and they had been together ever since.

“He’s not like any other guy in the world,” she said.

“He could make anything fun,” Ralph Menchi, 23, Pollini’s best friend, said.

Pollini attended Rockland High School and later earned his GED, his family said.

High School Assistant Principal Sue Patton said he was “a great kid.”

Pollini is the second serviceman from Rockland to die in Iraq. Marine Lance Cpl. Walter “Gator” O’Haire, 20, was killed by a roadside bomb in April 2007.

O’Haire’s mother, Maureen, said Friday night she was heading to the Pollini’s home to offer her condolences and bring food. O’Haire said the pain doesn’t get any easier, and she still fights the urge to call her son.

Depending on the family’s wishes, a ceremony similar to the one given for O’Haire would be held for Pollini, Selectman Deborah O’Brien said. A motorcade, starting from South Boston where O’Haire first lived, traveled to Holy Family Church where his funeral was held.

Before he left for Iraq, Pollini built his wife a wooden dollhouse. Sarah was supposed to paint and decorate it while he was gone.

Sarah Pollini said she still plans to decorate the dollhouse.

“I’m going to live our plans,” she said.

Allison Manning may be reached at

Jan 24, 2009
Photos by Jim Hudson, FD-Intern, Photo Division

Town hall shut down after suspicious letters found

By Mikaela Slaney

Wed Jan 21, 2009

Rockland - Rockland Town Hall was closed and evacuated on Wednesday (Jan. 21) and Town Administrator Alan Chiocca left the building wearing a plastic “Tynex” suit after six suspicious envelopes were delivered with the day’ s mail, addressed to Chiocca and each of the town’s five selectmen.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no one was reportedly injured or effected by the letters, according to police chief John Llewellyn. The letters were delivered to town hall but were never opened.

“Mary brought the [letters] to me,” Chiocca said, referring to administrative assistant Mary Stewart. “And she said ‘these letters don’t seem right’ and I took them and looked at them and realized it was someone’s really bad prank or a serious threat. Then I dropped them back down on my desk and called public safety.”

The incident occurred at 11 a.m., and town hall was evacuated shortly after.

Before noon, members of the state’s District 2 Hazardous Materials team arrived at the town hall joining Rockland police and fire and took samples of the brown, crystallized substance that was leaking from inside the envelopes. Postal service inspectors are also working on the case, Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn said the letters were never opened, and were to be tested at a lab on Wednesday night.

“We do not believe that we have a hazardous material, based on initial findings,” said interim fire chief William Ferguson.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Ferguson said he could not comment on what the substance may be.

Because the letters were not opened, Llewellyn said police did not know whether there were any threats inside.

The letters were stamped and sent through the mail, using typewritten addresses, Llewellyn said. 

Llewellyn said police do not know who sent the letters.
“This is domestic terrorism,” said lieutenant Barry Ashton.

Chiocca was advised to change out of his clothes and into a plastic “Tynex” suit while at the town hall.   Several other employees who came in contact with the envelopes either had clothes brought to them or they went straight home on Wednesday to change and shower.

Llewellyn said he is not sure if there is any ongoing danger for town officials.

“It’s better to air on the side of safety,” he said.

Chiocca said Rockland Town Hall has not fielded any threats recently.

“We’ve heard there are reports of other mailings around the country,” Ferguson said. “We are pretty sure it has nothing to do with that. I really can’t say why.”

Chiocca said the closing of town hall on Wednesday was not fortuitous, because it was a busy day and employees were working on grant proposals, mulling over budgetary issues and collecting taxes at the collector’s office.

“It’s a [lost] day of productivity,” Chiocca said. “I think we have a very resilient bunch of employees and it’s just frustrating for some small mind to get their jollies this way. Simple things amuse simple minds. It’s a coward that has to act out his frustrations in this manner.”

Jan 24, 2009
Open Brush Burning Season

This information is provided by Rockland Firefighters Local 1602, for the official Fire Department burning policies and information please contact the Fire Department at 781-878-2123 or visit the station at 360 Union St.

Once again brush season is here.  You must get a permit from the fire station (360 Union St.) to be allowed to burn brush. The permits are $20 for the season and the fee must be payed by check or money order only. If you have any questions please call the station at 781-878-2123. Brush season lasts from January 15th through May 1st. After obtaining a burning permit, each day you would like to burn you must still get permission from the fire department to burn that day.

Below is more information and safety tips for open burning.

Safety Tips for Open Burning Season

FireFactors on Open Burning – a 1-page educational hand-out. PDF

Open Burning Season Starts January 15 and ends May 1

A Permit is Required from Local Fire Warden/Fire Chief

Open Burning is allowed in Rockland with a Permit from the Fire Chief. The Permits must be obtained by going to the Fire Station. Permits are $20 and only valid for that season.The permit fee may be payed by check or money order only, NO CASH. Each day that you wish to burn you must call the Fire Station and request permission to burn. Please call 781-878-2123 for permission or other questions.

Weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the spring, and fire wardens will determine on a daily basis when it is safe to conduct open burning. If winds kick up or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn, permits can be rescinded (cancelled).

The open burning must be a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings and must be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and must take place on the land closest to the source of material to be burned, according to Department of Environmental Protection regulations (310 CMR DEP 7.07).

People conducting illegal burning, or who allow a fire to get out of control, may be held liable for costs of extinguishing a fire, fined, and even imprisoned (MGL c.48 s.13).

With A Permit, Burning of the Following Materials is Allowed:
  • Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations
  • Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture such as, fruit tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, and infected beehives for disease control.
  • Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing.
  • Fungus infected elm wood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available.

Burning of the Following Materials is Prohibited Statewide:

  • Brush, trees, cane and driftwood from commercial and/or industrial land clearing operations.
  • Grass, hay, leaves and stumps, and tires.
  • Construction material and debris

How to Safely Ignite the Fire

  • An adult should always be present during open burning and children and pets should be kept at a safe distance away.
  • Use paper and kindling to start a fire and add progressively larger pieces of wood. Parts of a leftover Christmas tree may also be used.
  • Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start a fire! The risk of personal injury in these cases is very high.
  • Burn one small pile at a time and slowly add to it. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control.
  • Select a location away from utility lines.

Fires Must be Attended Until Completely Extinguished
Do not leave your fire burning unattended. This is a reason to revoke your burning permit.

Fire Control Tools and Water Supply Must Be Present
The water supply can be a pressurized fire extinguisher, a pump can or garden hose, and be sure to test it out before igniting the fire to be sure it works properly. Also, if relying on a garden hose double-check that the water supply is turned on and that there are no cracks in the hose itself. You are required to have a water supply and fire control tools on hand.

Watch the Wind: Be Prepared to Extinguish All Open Burning
It is unsafe to burn during high winds. Use common sense and don’t wait for the fire department to contact you that is has become unsafe to burn. Sudden wind change is the how most open burning gets out of control.

Don’t Delay a Call for Help
If for some reason, the fire should get out of control, call the fire department immediately. Use the utmost caution to prevent injury to yourself or family members or any damage by fire to your home.

April is the Cruelest Month
April is usually the worst month for brush fires. When snow pack recedes, before new growth emerges, last year’s dead grass, leave and wood are dangerous tinder. Winds also tend to be stronger and more unpredictable during April. Unfortunately many people wait until the warmer weather to conduct open burning.

Prevent Wildfires by Burning During Wet Snowy Conditions
Prevent permit fires from becoming wild land fires by burning early in the season. Wet and snowy winter conditions hinder the rapid spread of fire on or under the ground. Weather conditions and increased fire danger may lead to many days when burning cannot be allowed to take place.

Open Burning Alternatives
Open burning releases large amount of carbon dioxide, other gases and solid substances directly into the air, which can contribute to respiratory problems. Disposal of natural materials is best for the environment when they are used again in a different form. Try chipping or composting tree limbs, brush or forestry debris to use as landscaping materials. Check with your local public works or highway department; many have chippers at their municipal recycling center or transfer station, and with process debris for homeowners.

Jan 08, 2009
Click photos for more pictures. Thank you to Pat Travers ( and Jim Hudson, FD-Intern for the pictures
Rockland Firefighters Fight Basement Fire
Rockland firefighters were called to a fire in the basement of 57 Taunton Ave. on Tuesday night.  Initial firefighters were met with heavy smoke throughout the house. The firefighters had a difficult time locating the basement stairs but were able to quickly extinguish the fire in the basement. All occupants were out of the building on arrival and no one was injured.

Jan 07, 2009

Rockland Firefighters practice Ice Rescue.

Members of the Rockland Fire Department prepare for ice rescues by practicing with the ice rescue sled and using various rescue techniques to rescue a person trapped on or through the ice. The Rockland Firefighters do not endorse the safety of the ice, ever. We believe that all ice is inherently unsafe and everyone should stay off of the ice.

Page Last Updated: Apr 05, 2010 (16:38:00)
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