The West Paris Fire Department recently got another fire truck. Fire Chief Troy Billings spoke about the truck briefly at last Thursday’s select board meeting. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

WEST PARIS — Selectmen revisited the Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG) for the town fire department at their April 23 meeting. They had discussed the guidelines at their previous meeting also.

In the minutes from the April 9 select board meeting, it said that Fire Chief Troy Billings was going to provide the town with a list of Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (EVOC) firefighters and firefighters who have a commercial drivers license. The town also requested a list of firefighter qualifications.

Other questions asked  at the April 9 meeting by selectmen about the department were in regards to a firefighter’s responsibility at the scene (what they can and cannot do), why firefighters who are not EMT responders are required to be either CPR certified or possess “valid Maine Emergency Medical Services licensure and why “per diem firefighters are limited to nine per diem shifts in any bi-weekly pay period.

Billings said he reviews the SOG’s every 18 months, and also looks at the department’s policies and procedures.

“I feel like sometimes I am singled out,” Billings said of being questioned about the policies he put in place for young firefighters.

Billings added that he based some of his policies off what another department was doing. He also said he felt that all the questions he was asked by selectmen showed that they had a lack of confidence in him.

Seletmen Mike Grass, Dale Piirainen and John Eli White all assured Billings that they want him to be fire chief and that they only were only asking questions to get information.

“I just wanted to gain a better understanding of all of it,” Selectman Mike Grass said.

“We do want you to be chief, and we’re sorry if it came across differently,” White said.

As of April 28, the town had not received anything from Billings, but Town Manager Wade Rainey said that Billings was still gathering information.

April 9 meeting

Selectmen unanimously approved suspending the town’s participation in Andy League baseball and softball for this year. The motion came after resident Chad Stearns provided selectmen an update on the Andy League for this year. He volunteers as a baseball coach for the town.

Stearns told selectmen that were slated to begin on June 15. Stearns said that even though all school sports for the spring had been cancelled, that there could possibly be non-league games this year, depending when the crowd ban is lifted and social distancing is no longer necessary.

Stearns said players who are still interested can go to another town that still has a league team.

Since West Paris will not have a league team this year,  Stearns wondered if the money could be spent toward other baseball team needs. He was informed that money for field maintenance will continue, but uniforms and equipment will not be purchased.

In other business, selectmen unanimously voted in favor to extend  Rainey’s contract to March 31 2020. When asked if he wanted anything changed, Rainey said he would like a 2.9 percent pay increase. The overall increase would be $1,680, raising his salary to $59,680.


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