Fire department walks out. Mass resignation of chief & volunteers in Blandford, MA.

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Elyisa Rodriguez, WWLP-TV:

After a major conflict with the town’s selectmen, the entire Blandford Fire Department walked off the job Tuesday night. 22News explains what will happen to the town without firefighters or EMT’s.

Tom Ackley, a volunteer firefighter, said, “We have gone as far as we can. We do not want to leave the town without fire protection and without medical protection but our options are not only limited, they’re pretty much used up.”

Tuesday night, Chief Robert DeCouteau resigned, taking the entire department with him.


“There’s going to be no fire department; the town will still be serviced by surrounding towns, mutual aid,” said Edward Laplante, a volunteer firefighter.

A move these firefighters say will increase response time from 4 minutes to more than 20.

These volunteer firefighters say Chief DeCouteau and town selectman Bill Lavakis have butted heads since he was put in the position.

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