Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center
Fire Advisory Board

May 4, 2011

The Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center Fire Advisory Board held a public meeting on May 4, 2011 at Topsfield Fire Headquarters, 27 High Street, Topsfield, MA 01983 at 8:30AM.

Board Members Present:
Chief Ronald Giovannacci – Topsfield Fire
Chief Jonathan Brickett – Amesbury Fire
Chief Frank Twiss – Middleton Fire
Chief Daniel Doucette – Essex Fire
Chief Robert Blanchard – Wenham Fire

Board Members Absent:
Chief Paul Cotter – Beverly Fire

Others Present:
Mr. Thomas Dubas - Essex County RECC Project Manager
Mr. Joseph McGowan - Essex County Sheriff’s Department

The Fire Advisory Board meeting was called to order at 8:40AM.


The meeting was requested by the Fire Advisory Board with Mr. Dubas and Mr. McGowan to assist with the direction of the Board and their responsibilities as the project moves forward.

Chief Giovannacci opened the meeting with a brief discussion of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department Information Sharing Network, or SharePoint.  This tool will be utilized by the Boards and will allow for the posting of important documents and other useful information that needs to be shared by all participants.  A training exercise on SharePoint has been requested for the next regular meeting of the Fire Advisory Board.

Mr. Dubas discussed the responsibilities of the Board relative to policies and procedures.  The procedures for the RECC are the responsibility of the Fire Advisory Board as they relate specifically to fire department responses.  The policies for the RECC are the responsibility of all the boards, and Mr. Dubas recommended that a sub-committee may be needed with representatives from the three boards to accomplish this task.

Mr. McGowan gave an update on the major task of the Financial Advisory Board, which is the process for employing a Director for the RECC.  This individual is a key component for the development of the RECC policies and the Board will be active in the process of hiring this individual in a timely fashion. 

Mr. Dubas explained to the Board that the procedures should be the first order of business.  He recommended the use of SharePoint as a tool to post working documents and allow for board members to provide input.  Also, a CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) standards document should be obtained for the Board to provide guidance and consistency as the RECC looks to future accreditation.

A question was asked by Chief Brickett as to whether the policies should be written before the procedures.  Mr. Dubas replied by stating that procedures can be written first, but advised the Board to follow a consistent format for procedure development and there should be minimal conflicts with policies.  A systematic approach is necessary for the proper development of both policies and procedures.  

Chief Giovannacci reminded all members to obtain their username and password for SharePoint and prepare for a training exercise on SharePoint at the next meeting of the Fire Advisory Board on May 11, 2011.

A question was asked by Chief Brickett as to the timeframe for the project.  Mr. Dubas advised the Board that the RECC project is still on schedule for opening late in the 4th quarter of calendar year 2012.  The next significant step is the CAD system, along with the radio study and the receipt of fire alarms, which have been coordinated by Kimball Associates.


MOTION:  There being no further business, Chief Brickett moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:30AM.  Chief Doucette seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Chief Frank W. Twiss
Recording Secretary