Hopkinton and Ashland Selectmen held a joint meeting to discuss a potential merger that would combine the Fire Departments of the 2 towns. Chief Clark discussed why the merger is a potential: "We have been working together for over 2 years to bring together a concept that was started by Chief Kee and Chief Doherty in 2008." "Right now we have some struggles to bring the proper amount of people to do the right job at certain calls on the street." Chief Clark explained that the operations of the Ashland and Hopkinton fire departments are very similar which makes it an ideal fit.
"This is a new concept to New England, there's some small towns in the western part of the state it could come a reality, but in New England it's very uncommon." Chief Clark further explained that the concept of the merger is new to New England but common in other parts of the country.
The merger would not take full affect until 5 1/2 years from July 1st, 2016 but changes if the merger is voted in could be seen as early as winter/spring 2015. Chief Clark is in favor of the proposed merger as he feels it will help both Fire Departments with staffing and financial resources and allow better service to the communities. Chief Clark explained the overall reaction of the fire department staff, stating that change naturally could make someone feel uneasy; "there are some skeptics, I've heard them and they're entitled to their opinions but I think going forward the model is good for both communities down the road." Chief Clark explained that his decision is based on what he feels will be best for the town of Hopkinton.
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