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Published: August 26, 2008 03:50 am ShareThisPrintThis
Newbury sets up fire command structure
By victor tine
Staff writer

NEWBURY - After a couple of missteps, the town's Board of Fire Engineers and Protection Fire Co. No. 2 appear to be in agreement over a chain of command for the two private fire companies that serve Newbury.
Longtime Byfield Chief William Pearson was appointed overall chief of Newbury's departments by the eight-member Board of Fire Engineers, which Pearson also heads.
But the bylaws of Protection No. 2 call for election of its chief and deputy chief by the company's members. A Framingham attorney representing Protection No. 2 sent Pearson a letter Aug. 7 saying the fire company "declines the Board of Fire Engineers' request to modify its bylaws."
Last week, Protection No. 2 President Keith Grant and Vice President Jonathan Andrews sent another letter, this time addressed to Pearson, selectmen Chairman Vincent Russo and Deputy Chief Dana Davis.
Grant and Andrews wrote that the company would indeed agree to the change, and that the attorney had not been authorized to send the Aug. 7 letter.
The president and vice president are administrative positions within the company and are not the same as chief and deputy chief.
The Board of Fire Engineers' proposal to, in effect, name the overall town chief and deputy chiefs for both Protection No. 1 in Byfield and Protection No. 2 in Oldtown and Plum Island "has been a very controversial request and has divided our organization," Grant and Andrews wrote. "However, with the interest of the town, its citizens, and preservation of our company being our utmost concern, we have decided to comply."
Russo and Fire Engineer Tim Leonard said the command structure puts Pearson in charge of both companies. Dana Davis will be deputy chief for Protection No. 2, and Doug Janvrin Sr. deputy chief for Protection No. 1.
The Board of Fire Engineers is appointed by the selectmen. It is currently composed of Pearson, Leonard, Davis, Janvrin, Doug Janvrin Jr., Tim Wareham, Michael Bulgaris and Wally Ziehler.
"We've got our most experienced people on the Board of Fire Engineers," Russo said.
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