Donovan said Tri-Town has worked with Weymouth to apply for a grant from the US Fire Administration to hire firefighters and purchase a fire engine. They are still waiting to find out if they won the grant, he said.
Rick Ramponi, the president of Local 1616, said Weymouth’s Fire Department is already understaffed. He also wants to see a fire station established at SouthField. As it stands, he said, “we can’t get there in time to help anybody.”
Ramponi said the firefighters union plans to do some informational picketing as a way to alert the public of the union’s concerns. (Meanwhile, the town and firefighters are in arbitration to reach an agreement on a new contract; the last one expired in July 2010. Ramponi said the staffing concerns are a separate issue from the contract talks).
Kay said she is committed to making sure there are enough Weymouth police officers and firefighters, adding that four police recruits will soon be coming out of the academy.
Acting Weymouth Fire Chief Joseph Davis and Police Chief Richard C. Grimes did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story.
As for SouthField, Kay said, “We understand that’s going to grow, and we need to keep an eye on it.” She said establishing a fire station at SouthField would be a good idea.
“They had a fire station when the Navy was in there,” she said. “At full-build out, it would be very wise to have a station there.’’