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March 17, 2008


The King

Exercise equipment? I haven't seen much evidence of them using that! ha ha

I would rather see money go to the Fire Department that some other BS program.

Jack Bates

8 new firefighters? Those will suck up $843,400 pretty fast. And then they'll be a permanent added expense for the city, which we will have to cover. Given that the Fire Department brings in no revenues, I don't see how this is good news. Just more city workers idling. Let me understand: To make up for the 300Ks in overtime, we spend 800Ks in new personnel?
Without a revenue plan, I don't see how a one-time matching grant can be used to commit the city to a permanent increase in costs.


Thank you Mayor for protecting our city. There is no question that you are the greatest Mayor this City has ever known! Good job Mayor!


Some good ideas. Tell us in comparison the OT budget at the Police dept.? Can you also provide us some numbers from your 311 system? Keep up the good work Mr. Mayor.

One of the guys

I could go on and on about our fire dept. The men are using the exercise equipment on a regular basis, with additional assistance from outside agencies on health and exercise. Quite possibly it's the fact that the median age is in the mid forties that makes us look like we are not in shape. Let me assure you dollar for dollar our men still do the grunt work that our predecessors did before us. They set the bar and we have maintained and often surpassed. A rescue in the city is long overdue, any rescue. I look forward to this unit coming to Somerville, the sooner the better. As far as the 8 new hires go, we are still understaffed. Part of this understaffing has led to physical injuries due to the men of your fire department going above and beyond at emergencies to the point where they get hurt or physically exhaust themselves. We should be a proactive community, not a reactive one. Who is going to die before someone says we should have done something.


Thank you to Mayor Curtatone, Congressmen Capuano, Senator Kennedy, Chief Kelleher and anyone else who worked very hard to get this grant for the Somerville Fire Department. The addition of 8 new firefighters is greatly needed as this department is severly understaffed. This is a step in the right direction and hopefully it will continue. I do have a few things I would like to ask.

1. Mayor Curtatone, in the past you said on more than one occassion that getting Engine 4 back in service was your NUMBER 1 PRIORITY. What happened? Why is this no longer a priority to you? Do you remember saying these words? We certainly do. Maybe like the "Texas CON-MAN" Roger Clemens said, you "misremembered".

2. Where will the City come up with the money the funds to purchases this new rescue/pumper? We didn't have any money to get Engine 4 back in service and now you are telling me that the City is suddenly going to find somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 to $1 million for the vehicle, equipment for the vehicle and the specialized training that all of the Somerville firefighters will need to go through to operate this rescue/pumper/haz-mat vehicle.

3. Who do you plan on having on this advisory group? I pray that it is not the same geniuses who decided to put the firefighters stationed in Union Sqaure into double-wide trailers as a "temporary housing solution". For the good people of Somerville who are not aware, the Union Square Fire Station flooded during a major rain storm in June of 1998. Over the next few months dangerous mold and mildew grew inside the walls of the living quarters of this station and many of the firefighters were hit with many different health issues. When the mold was discovered the station quarters became uninhabitable and the firefighters were moved into the trailers as a "temporary solution". This year will mark 10 years that they have been living in these trailers. Almost all of the victims of Hurricane Katrina have moved out of their temporary housing trailers. Can you please tell me how much money the City of Somerville has shelled out over the past 10 years to lease these trailers? Any plan on the horizon to get the firefighters out of the trailers?

4. Has there been any discussion by the City to put a substation for the fire department in the Assembly Square development. There is an enormous amount of residential units planned there along with a hotel and many businesses and offices along with the massive IKEA store.

5. I read the City press release on the SAFER GRANT award. Can Tom Champion stand up and clarify this statement: "The purchase of a new rescue and pumper unit will improve the city’s ability to respond to rescue calls currently handled by police and EMT units." Please shed a light on what kind of calls are currently handled by the police and EMT units that the fire department does not respond to.

I look forward to a response to these questions, but like the return of Engine 4 to full time service I am not going to hold my breath.


The Somerville Fire Department is GREAT. If you've ever had a fire, these guys run like clockwork to save your house.

I'm thrilled to hear that they're getting the staff they need. The times I've needed to deal with them, they've been prompt, efficient and courteous.

old boy's club

i like how mike C. gets Joey C. money for more firemen that we can't afford in the long run and then I see a "Mayor's Request" that joey C. puts his kid on the planning board at the aldermen meeting last week. just like somerville, its the old boy's club as always.


Like other people stated what about engine 4 it runs great and they are only re-hiring the 8 firefighters they laid off when they shut down engine 4 so they really are not NEW firefighters and i read a study that a city this densly populated should have close to 200 firefighters and we only have about 130 now so i dont know why he is painting such a rosy picture(the mayor)


old boy's club - you are out of your mind!


I would like to ask Mr. Curtatone how he plans to pay for the new firefighters after the grant is over.
Furthermore, I predict that the 300K expense for overtime will be the same, if not worse, AFTER hiring the additional firefighters. Next year, you can look back at this thread, and realize I was correct.


Why is everyone worried about public safety, we have public safety expert Tom Champion and a mayor who can hide behind him.

Growing nose

funny how the city takes the credit for federal monies. Maybe we can add discusting fire station conditions to the discussion. Leaking roofs, mold, cracked walls, flooding basements, un serviced ventilation systems, missing flooring, holes in ceilings. Oh, and a "temporary" trailer being used as a fire station (one of the busiest in the COUNTRY) for 10 years...Thanks Joe, and Dot, and Mike.

Son of Sam

Cosmo stick your head up your ???? and wish you had a brain greatst Mayor he should be tied to Clean Genie and thrown in the Mystic.


Currently the Somerville Fire Department responds to Medical calls as "First responders." They can give oxygen, take vital signs, and do CPR amongst a few other basic life support procedures. Cataldo Ambulance, a private service, provides the emergency medical care, advanced life support, and transport. In the state of massachusetts, prehospital medicine cannot be billed for unless transport occurs. With the addition of a rescue, if the city decides to use it as a transporting medical unit and hire paramedics or more EMTs (many of the current firefighters currently hold this certification), it can generate income this way, using the private service as a backup. Adding a transporting rescue or an ambulance rescue could easily justify the salaries of 8 firefighters in a city as heavily populated and as busy as Somerville. Cambridge has been using a system like I have just described for a few years now.
This funding is necessary and well deserved.


Son of Sam that sounds like a threat to do bodily harm to our great Mayor. Hope the police don't launch an investigation.

Minnesota Joe

Any "advisory group " that does not also include members of the fire department that are elected by thier peers is an exercise in failure. Unless that is what your mayor wants.

Mr. Mayor, be careful what you ask for as well. Many times, LEGITMATE advisory groups, expose more problems than cities have the resources and dollars to address.

Be careful what you ask might just get it.

Fred Sanford



If your building does not fit all of these categories, then the new law does not apply to you since your property is already subject to the more strict state law.

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