By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Westborough Fire Chief Patrick Purcell presented the need for a Deputy Fire Chief to the Board of Selectmen at its Sept. 27 meeting. He formally asked for their “support and vote to change the organizational structure” of his department.
Purcell currently has five operational captains in addition to himself. Two captains currently split their shifts for a combined 42 hour work week. When they are in on their day shifts they fill in where needed and they divide the rest of their time with community and fire prevention programs. Purcell believes their time could be spent more productively. He said he also realized that as time went by, he needed someone who could be available Monday through Friday to assist him outside of the bargaining unit in the duties that he performs.
“I don’t feel that I am getting to my full responsibilities that you hired me for, such as Emergency Management Director where I’m barely scratching the surface,” he told the board.
Purcell also said that a Deputy Fire Chief will be instrumental in implementing the new dispatch center. This addition is also consistent with neighboring communities (Hopkinton and Shrewsbury) who have recently hired deputy fire chiefs.
He assured the selectmen that he can change the organizational structure within his current budget.
He asked for the board’s approval so that the position would be filled by Jan. 1, 2017.
The board unanimously voted to approve the request.