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Unity to rely on mutual aid after fire department resigns

Union Leader Correspondent

April 26. 2017 11:36PM

UNITY — Starting on Saturday the town will rely on mutual aid for fire and rescue responses.

The mutual aid coverage as primary coverage begins 9 a.m. on Saturday. That is the time the resignation of the eight- member fire department and rescue squad kicks in.

The town’s fire department resigned following a March town meeting vote that turned the fire chief position from an elected position to a position appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

The board is working to hire a new fire chief and hire new firefighters, Southwestern New Hampshire District Mutual Aid Chief Phil Tirrell said Wednesday.

Tirrell along with area fire chiefs and their representatives met with the Unity Board of Selectmen Monday night to work out the 30-day agreement.

“It’s truly not mutual aid when they are going to be responding as the primary responder,” Tirrell admitted.

However, to help the town of Unity out the bordering towns and the city of Claremont have agreed to provide coverage to Unity.

The towns include Acworth, Newport, Charlestown, Lempster and Goshen.

Unity will be divided into zones and each mutual aid department will provide primary coverage to an assigned zone which is closest to its own municipality.

“The towns involved will be willing for 30 days to respond as the initial responder based on the area of the town that is closest to them,” Tirrell said. “It’s being provided as a neighbor helping neighbor kind of thing. In 30 days the selectmen are hoping to pull together a fire department again.”

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