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Town, village agree to emergency drivers

The Somerset Fire/Rescue Department will have the opportunity to expand its base of drivers now.

At the joint meeting between the Somerset town and village boards on Tuesday, April 26, Somerset Fire/Rescue Chief Travis Belisle brought up the possibility of someone asking to help drive the engines for the department.

"They will not be a firefighter unless we ask them to be," said Belisle. "We aren't going to try to fill these positions; only if we are approached."

He said that he has been approached by people who want to help the department, but do not want to sign on as a volunteer firefighter. However, he did say that if someone was interested in driving the engine, it would free up an existing firefighters for actual firefighting.

The driver(s) would only be compensated for the time they put in, and would be required to attend truck maintenance meetings. In addition, Belisle said the state does not require a commercial truck driver's license, but "if someone wants to get one, great."

The boards approved the policy, and it will be incorporated in the Somerset Fire/Rescue Department's bylaws.

Belisle also said that they will do a live burn on a vacant house on Churchill Road on June 4. The house formerly belonged to St. Anne's, but has been vacant for several months. The department has been using it for training exercises, and will ultimately use it for fire training. Belisle said that because of the close proximity of the house to the road, they will need to shut down Churchill Road for about an hour that day. Should it rain on June 4, they will do the burn on June 18.

The next joint meeting between the town and village boards is Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m. at the Somerset Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend.