See How Watertown Celebrated a Resident’s 100th Birthday During COVID-19

Watertown turned out in a big way to celebrate the 100th birthday of one of its veterans on Friday afternoon. A call went out from the family of Joseph Markarian online, and the town responded. The U.S. Army veteran was treated to his own parade complete with police and fire vehicles with their sires blaring and a band (well at least one musician — Watertown’s famous traveling tuba player). The celebration was covered by WBUR reporter, and Watertown resident Bruce Gellerman. See and hear his report here.

2 Firefighters Test Positive for COVID-19; 2 More Virus Related Deaths in Watertown

Several Watertown Firefighters quarantined themselves after two members of the Fire Department tested positive for the Coronavirus. One of those who tested positive has already recovered, and the second is still recovering, said Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn. “When the first Firefighter tested positive we had to quarantine four other Firefighters for 14 days,” Quinn said. “None of them developed any symptoms and are all back to work. We had another firefighter test positive and had to send three others for testing due to the possible exposure, but luckily they all came back negative.” Where the firefighters became infected is not known, Quinn said, but it is possible it was while they were on duty.

Blaze in Watertown Square Knocked Down by Watertown Firefighters

The Watertown Fire Department responded to a fire just a block from the Central Fire Station early Saturday morning, and put out the blaze before it spread. The fire occurred at 85 Main St., in an office building next to the Santander Bank, while the Fire Station is at 99 Main St. “It was a working fire and came in at 2:07 a.m.,” said Fire Chief Bob Quinn. “The fire was contained to one room and we were alerted by the alarm system.” 

The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time, Quinn said.

Watertown Firefighters, Police Taking Steps to Reduce Exposure to COVID-19, Need Supplies

Watertown firefighters and police officers have begun taking extra steps to protect themselves from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and both departments have found it hard to keep supplies of equipment to protect them from the virus. Along with extra equipment, the Watertown Police and Fire departments have started using some new procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Fire Department may ask people to come out of their homes to reduce firefighters chances of getting COVID-19, said Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn. “On certain Medical calls we will have people exit the home if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are in an environment with a COVID-19 positive person,” Quinn said. “This also reduces the risk to the Firefighters responding to the call as lees people will have interaction with the patient.  All patients will get the proper required care but we will be operating differently to protect unnecessary exposure to our members.”

Watertown Fire Department Closing Public Access to Fire Stations

The Watertown Fire Department has closed the town’s three fire stations in response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). People can still contact the Fire Department with questions. The department added that it will temporarily stop accepting donations, such as food. The Watertown Fire Department sent out the following announcement:

Due to growing concerns over the spreading of the Coronavirus all Watertown fire stations will be closed to the public effective immediately. If you have a question about permits, inspections or other fire prevention functions please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (617) 972-6510.

Fire Department Cancels Ceremony for Fallen Watertown Firefighter

The sign erected in honor of fallen Watertown Firefighter Joseph Toscano at the corner of Merrifield Avenue and Bigelow Avenue in East Watertown. The Watertown Fire Department cancelled plans to honor Joseph Toscano on the third anniversary of the firefighter’s death due to concerns over the Coronavirus. “This decision has been made taking the orders of the Governor into consideration. We hope that everyone will keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers at some point tomorrow,” said Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn. The Fire Department had planed three minutes of silence at 10:16 a.m Tuesday, followed by a salute to Toscano.

Watertown Recruit Completes Mass. Firefighting Academy

Watertown Firefighter George Black graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. Watertown Firefighter George Black graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy 10 week training program, announced Fire Chief Bob Quinn. “He will return to the firehouse (this) week to serve the citizens of Watertown,” Quinn said. “We are very excited to have him back.” The following announcement was provided by the State Fire Marshal’s Office:

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Deputy Director Joseph C. Klucznik announced the graduation of the 280 th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s fifty-day Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program on February 14, 2020.

Watertown Deputy Fire Chief Graduates from Management Training Program

Watertown Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson, second from left, at the graduation of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program. Watertown Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson recently graduated Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program. Attendees of the 14-week program learned about the management fire departments not related to fire-suppression. As part of the course, Nicholson had to write a research paper that identified a problem or challenge facing the Watertown Fire Department in which he proposed a solution. He then had to present the proposal to be considered by a panel of municipal officials.