Archived Letter – 337

In response to Chief Patton’s letter of explanation. He clearly states that “All of our volunteer firefighters are provided with a $150,000 benefit package which includes: life, accidental death and health insurance coverage. If that is so, is that not a benefit provided to them by the town? I fail to see how the burden should fall on the shoulders of the volunteers of this town, because a paid administrator failed to do due diligence. It is the responsibility of this town to provide the benefit. If a full time paid administrator failed to properly secure such a benefit the blame falls at their feet, and is the responsibility of this town to correct the mistakes of an employee acting on their behalf. I am appalled that the position of the town is that “it is not our fault “, it is the insurance companies. This town should have immediately gone to the aid of a family who gave 27 years of selfless service to this community. This town should be fighting on behalf of the family not against them ! I personally knew John, he was a Fire Captain when I became a volunteer, and he continued to be years after I was gone. I am proud to say he was my friend. He was an inspiration to me, as were all the volunteers, Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs at the time! I would not be where I am today without their mentoring. I owe them all a debt of gratitude, and so does this community. We all know firefighters are particularly susceptible to heart disease. John had served for 27 years. I truly hope this town is fighting the case that John’s death was indeed in the line of duty. He deserves to have his name on the Firefighters memorial. Mrs. Mayor I was a volunteer when you were council liaison to the Fire Dept. We both know the firefighters were always promised life insurance. Their family’s would be helped for their tireless sacrifice. Your actions in this situation are duly noted! I will be here to remind everyone again when it is time. I applaud the actions of the volunteers of our town. They are simply doing what is right! I stand behind them tenaciously ! Bravo Gentlemen! Jim O’Sullivan

James O’Sullivan