The Town of Provincetown recognizes the urgency of ensuring the town has adequate fire and EMS services to provide for the health and safety of all Provincetown residents and visitors this summer and beyond.
Town administration has been working with an outside consultant, the Town of Truro, members of the Provincetown Fire Department, and Lower Cape Ambulance Association (LCAA) for many months on formulating a transition plan for Fire/EMS services in Provincetown, with the goal of becoming a fully staffed combination department within the next two years.
For months the plan had been to begin hiring 8 full-time employees in the Provincetown Fire/EMS department on July 1, 2023 and hire another 8 full-time employees on July 1, 2024. While Town officials were not surprised by the January 5th announcement from LCAA that they will cease operations as of June 30th, this recent decision has caused the Town to advance its timeline by proposing to fund all 16 full-time employees as of this July.
In FY24, the Provincetown Fire Department will continue to be fully funded to support the Rescue Squad and Summer Standby, providing 270 days of coverage throughout the year, including 4 medics and 4 EMTs on every shift during the months of June, July, and August.
“For many years I have advocated bringing EMS into the Provincetown Fire Department. We have the ambulances, the infrastructure and, most importantly, the talent,” said Fire Chief Michael Trovato. “I have complete confidence that we will have adequate ambulance and EMS coverage for summer 2023 and beyond, and I want to thank the Select Board and the Town Manager for supporting a plan that puts us on a path to our shared goal of having a full-time combination fire department.”
Town administration has concluded that the best way to address the new, immediate, and future Fire/EMS needs of Provincetown is through a separate funding article at Annual Town Meeting on April 3rd. In its current form, the article will be an operating override and will include funding for a full-time administrator and up to 16 full-time Firefighters, EMTs and medics.
As presented and discussed with the Select Board during their meeting on January 23, 2023, the Town is now moving forward with plans to:
- Continue funding the Rescue Squad for June, July, and August to ensure that every shift has 4 medics and 4 EMTs.
- Begin recruiting full-time Firefighters, EMTs, and medics in February 2023. The Town recognizes those LCAA employees that have dedicated many years of service to Provincetown EMS and will be working with LCAA to identify potential applicants that can easily transition from the organization to the Provincetown Fire Department on July 1.
- Bring a funding article to Annual Town Meeting in April to fund 16 full-time Firefighter, EMTs and medic positions for July 1, 2023.
- The Article will be written to allow some funds to be available the day after Annual Town Meeting to begin hiring for positions immediately, with more funds available to fill additional positions once the FY24 budget year commences on July 1, 2023.
- The Town will continue hiring for additional staff positions after July 1st.
Provincetown remains one of the last call Fire Departments in the state, and this plan will enhance and improve the Town’s EMS response while also, for the first time in Provincetown’s history, begin building a full-time Fire Department.
“We understand that LCAA’s decision to cease operations will be a change and is a cause for some anxiety. And while we thought we would have a bit more time to implement our transition plan, we are confident that we have the resources and expertise to maintain and enhance Fire and EMS coverage in the months to come,” said Town Manager Alex B. Morse. “I have no doubt our public safety officials will continue to work together to provide the best possible service to our residents and visitors. I want to thank LCAA and their employees for their many years of dedicated service to the Provincetown community, and we look forward to working together to streamline this critical transition.”
Town staff will present additional information and further discuss the transition plan for Fire/EMS services during the Monday, February 13, 2023 Select Board Meeting.