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2008 E-Government Award with Distinction
Regionalization Efforts & Initiatives
Town of Eastham
Fire Department &
Emergency Medical Services
Glenn J. Olson
Chief of the Department
2520 State Highway      Eastham, MA  02642
(508) 255-2324

Regionalization Efforts and Initiatives by Barnstable County Fire Departments

Many citizens, town officials and taxpayers in general, are very interested in the different options & scenarios that can consolidate the responsibilities of the different municipal departments, and ultimately reduce the cost of operating local government for their community.
The Fire Departments on Cape Cod, and the Barnstable County Fire Chiefs Association, cooperatively support & promote efforts of mutual concern that benefit all of us as a County and as individual Towns with items that involve Fire protection, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Prevention Education, and Code enforcement.

Some examples of our regionalization efforts that the Eastham Fire Department shares in with our Cape partners are:

  • Fire & EMS mutual aid system. This is an example of a flawless pre-planned system that lends additional Fire or EMS assistance to any community in need. The entire mutual aid system is coordinated through the Barnstable County Sheriff communications division. The mutual aid design is a proven system that on a daily basis handles small to large Fire & EMS incidents within Barnstable County.
  • County Fire & EMS training. Most of the Fire training for Cape Departments is completed at the Barnstable County Fire Training Academy and funded through County Government. The county academy also provides training to private and municipal agencies outside of the Barnstable County departments to help defray operational costs.
Most of the EMS training is also completed at the fire academy. A portion of the EMS training is also funded through the fire academy system, as well as through the Cape & Islands EMS organization.

This type of regional resource allows any of the Cape Departments to send personnel to one location for fire & EMS training rather than trying to individually coordinate and complete within their own communities.

  • Cape & Islands Emergency Medical Services. A non profit organization that represents & oversees the delivery of Emergency Medical Services for the Cape & Islands communities, as well as coordinates training for Basic and Advanced Life Support providers.  CIEMSS also acts as the coordinator / liaison with the local Emergency Departments, and represents Cape & Islands Ambulance Services with State licensing & training mandates. Having an organization like CIEMSS saves Cape Ambulance Services a significant amount of labor hours to meet the necessary mandates for licensing, training and oversight required in the State of Massachusetts. CIEMSS serves as the regional office for the Cape & Islands Fire/Ambulance Services, which is funded through assessments from each of the communities.
  • Regional Dispatch. Many Fire Departments have successfully advocated that their communities utilize a regional call taking and dispatch center which is located at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, operated by the Barnstable County Sheriff communications division.
  • Regional ambulance communication and medical control to the Hospitals. All of the ambulance communications within Barnstable County is completed through the Barnstable County Sheriff as well, affording pre-hospital personnel direct communication with hospital ER physicians and nurses for medical direction during emergency ambulance transports.
  • Specialized Regional Resources. County Dive teams, Technical Rescue Teams, Hazmat Teams, Service Zone Plan, and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Teams are all examples of available resources on a regional level within the Barnstable County. The Fire Chiefs’ group is currently working on formulating a group of administrative level personnel that would serve as an Incident Management Team that could assist a community in need when a large scale incident occurs. These incidents can be of an emergency nature or large scale community event. An example is the Provincetown Fireworks, where the IMT group coordinated all of the additional Fire & EMS resources that were required during the event.
  • Regional Incident Command System and Accountability protocols. This is an example of a county, state, and country wide standardized system that allows coordination and control of the varied emergencies for the fire service and other agencies to work within. The Barnstable County Fire Academy staff took a lead role in coordinating and providing the different federally mandated ICS training to all of the communities of Barnstable County that included Town Government, Health, Police, Fire, and DPW. Funding for this training was paid for through either federal grant programs or county resources. This provided an avenue for communities to complete mandated training through a regional resource.
  • Barnstable County Regional hiring list. The Barnstable County Fire Chiefs have established and coordinate a hiring list of potential career personnel that any of the Cape Fire Departments can utilize to hire from if they choose. The list is regularly updated with new candidates through the Fire Chiefs’ Association. This being another example of a regional approach that ultimately saves individual towns from having to complete an initial screening process for vacancies within their departments.
  • Mutual Aid Coordination Centers. The Barnstable County Fire Chiefs are taking a lead role in developing a regional group of administrative level multi agency personnel Fire, Police, DPW, and Utilities that would all work in one centralized location during any larger storm events to  prioritize and coordinate necessary resources to the communities most in need. We are also cooperatively working with the Sheriff’s group to formulate a coordinated process so that necessary public information can be disseminated through the press, radio and other public information avenues.   

The Eastham Fire Department continues to work everyday to explore and consider ways to reduce cost and consider avenues that can consolidate operations of the department and not affect service delivery to the community.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this informational bulletin, please fee free to contact me.

Respectfully Submitted

Glenn J Olson
Chief of the Department


Eastham, Massachusetts
2500 State Hwy, Eastham, MA 02642 PH: 508.240.5900 Hours: 8AM - 4PM, Mon - Fri.
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