Most meetings are being held in person, but some are still remote or virtual. Go to eastham-ma.gov/calendar-by-event-type/16 and click on the meeting you are interested in to learn about meeting locations and any remote options that may be offered.
Thursday, March 24
- Council on Aging Board, 9:30 a.m., Town Hall
Friday, March 25
- Strategic Planning Committee, noon, virtual
Monday, March 28
- Visitors Tourism and Services Promotion Board, 3:30 p.m., virtual
Thursday, March 31
- Board of Health, 3 p.m., Town Hall
The fire department responded to more than 6.5 calls per day last year, 12.3 percent more calls than it received in 2020, Fire Chief Dan Keane told the finance committee on Feb. 3.
Of 2,377 total calls, 556 were overlapping, meaning they came in while the department was already responding to another emergency. Which meant Keane had to muster staff from home, he said. The chief must keep a minimum of three employees at the station as “backfill” when crews are out on calls.
Maintaining coverage has been difficult, the chief said. Five department employees missed a total of nearly 4,000 work hours last year, he reported. Two of them resigned, citing the cost of living here. The department has hired four new people, but since the closest one lives in Harwich Port, Keane said they will not be eligible for backfilling. “They won’t get here in time,” he explained.
Those new employees also face delays in getting necessary training. The Barnstable County Fire Training Academy was demolished last summer, so Cape firefighters must travel to one of three training academies in Bridgewater, Springfield, or Stow, according to Jake Wark, the spokesman for the state fire marshal’s office. The most recently hired firefighter, who will start in March, will likely not be able to attend the academy until next year.
Even without overlapping calls, keeping enough paramedics on duty has been a challenge, Keane said. Two paramedics need to be on duty at all times, but the department currently has only six who are actively working. “It has been a grind to fill all these shifts,” said Keane.
To reduce strain during weekday working hours, Keane counts himself or Deputy Chief Lisa Albino as one paramedic so that just one other is required to be in the station. Keane said he was thankful that, by this summer, the department will have five new paramedics. Four of them are EMTs, currently employed by the fire dept., who have completed the requisite training. One is a new hire.
The Hole at Nan’s Way
The couple who illegally demolished their bayside cottage at 3 Nan’s Way will not attempt to rebuild the home until at least the fall, Conservation Agent Charles Katsuka said at the end of the conservation commission’s five-hour meeting last Tuesday, March 8.
The property owners, Scott and Angela Fillion of Granby, demolished the 86-year-old house in February without the required review from the Eastham Historical Commission. The Fillions also ran afoul of the conservation commission for stockpiling excavated material and altering vegetation within 100 feet of a coastal bank.
“If you’ve been out to the site,” Katsuka said, “you know there’s a huge hole that they dug in the ground. And big holes in the sand don’t last very long.” Katsuka said the hole is already starting to collapse and threatens adjacent properties.
The Fillions’ builder, Peter Stagakis, attended the Feb. 22 conservation commission meeting where the violation was initially discussed, but Katsuka said on March 8 that the Fillions had not yet been in contact with the conservation office to sort out this infraction. —Cam Blair