Council Approves First Part of $4 Million Police, Fire Radio Upgrades

Watertown’s Police and Fire departments will be getting new portable radios as part of upgrades to the first responder radio system that has become unreliable. On Tuesday night, the Town Council approved borrowing $1.77 million to fund the first of two phases in the $4 million plan to upgrade the Townwide radio infrastructure. The second phase is planned to be completed next year. The system is used by the Police, Fire and Department of Public Works to communicate. The system also links Watertown’s first responders with police and fire departments in nearby communities, as well as regional fire and police organizations.

Watertown Firefighters, Others Honored for Life Saving Actions

Last week, the Watertown Fire Department honored several firefighters, police officers and others for their life-saving actions during medical emergencies. Normally, the Fire Department would present the awards at a public ceremony, Fire Chief Bob Quinn said. “It was our hope to present these at a more formal ceremony last March but COVID sidetracked us,” Quinn said. “We did individual presentations instead.” Revival of Person Not Breathing

View this post on Instagram Lieutenant C. Wheaton and Firefighters S. Gleason, J. Capello, D. Corsi, O. Winsor, M. Fidler, and R. Hoey were presented with the Watertown Fire Department Company Citation Award by Chief Quinn for their life saving actions at an incident in December of 2019.

Fire Department Swears in 7 Promoted Members, New Firefighter

Three new Watertown Fire lieutenants — Scott Twombly, Glen McManus and Ralph Mele — were sworn in by Town Clerk John Flynn during a ceremony outside the Commander’s Mansion on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The Watertown Fire Department honored eight of its members on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony. Seven received promotions and one firefighter was officially welcomed to the WFD. The Fire Department periodically holds swearing in ceremonies to recognize promotions and new members of the department.

Watertown Fire Department Appoints New Assistant Chief

The Watertown Fire Department’s newly created assistant fire chief position has been filled by a 14-year veteran of the WFD who hopes build connections with residents and serve the community well. On Monday, Ryan Nicholson began his new role as assistant fire chief. He was promoted recently from deputy fire chief. He said he will be assisting Fire Chief Bob Quinn with some administrative duties, as well as working on outreach to the community. “I’m excited to get started,” Nicholson said.

Purchase of New Ambulance Approved, Number of Calls Increasing

The Watertown Fire Department will be getting a new ambulance, which will help with the increasing numbers of medical calls to which paramedics respond. On Tuesday night, the Town Council unanimously approved the borrowing of $355,00 to pay for the purchase of a new ambulance. It will be paid off over five years with a total expected cost, including interest, of $402,925. The current ambulance, a 2016 GMC, has about 42,000 miles on it and will be kept as in reserve after the new one is delivered, said Fire Chief Bob Quinn. He said there is a lead time of about 8 months after ordering an ambulance.

Watertown Firefighter Graduates from Mass. Fire Academy

Firefighter Michael Lanzo recently graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. Fire Chief Bob Quinn announced that a Watertown firefighter graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy. Michael Lanzo completed the 10 week training program in Stow.  Due to the COVID-19 situation the graduation ceremony was limited to the graduates only. “Lanzo has returned to the firehouse to serve the citizens of Watertown,” Quinn said.

Council Roundup: Fire Department Radios Approved, Election, DPW Openings

The Watertown Fire Department will be replacing a key piece of equipment after the Town Council approved matching funds for a grant to pay for new portable radios. The Fire Department has 35 portable radios ranging in age from 1 year to 19, Fire Chief Bob Quinn told the Town Council on Sept. 8. Some of the radios have recurring battery failures and others lack clarity, Quinn said. “Communication is a critical part of a Department being able to operate efficiently at incidents each and every day,” Quinn said.

Firefighters Extinguish Fire in Unoccupied Watertown Home

Watertown Firefighters responded to a fire that broke out in an unoccupied home on Friday night. The call reporting the fire came in just after 11 p.m. on Aug. 25, said Watertown Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson

“Upon arrival we could see fire on the second floor. At that time I ordered a Working Fire,” Nicholson said. “The building was being rehabbed and was unoccupied, which we confirmed with a search.”