Departments: Fire Department
339 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043-2759
Phone 781-741-1480 . FAX 781-741-1483
Fire Chief - Robert Olsson
Hours of Operation: M-F 8:30am - 4:00pm
210 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043-2759
Phone 781-741-1488 . FAX 781-741-1460
Captain - David Damstra
Hours of Operation:
M-W-Th 8:00am - 4:00pm
Tues 8:00am - 7:00pm
Fri 8:00am - 1:00pm
Important Documents & Links:
For information on the exchange of Fire Department patches, please call Fire Administration at 781-741-1416
Fire Department Dive Team Drills
New Requirements for Residential Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Our Office Issues Permits and Conducts Inspections Regarding:
2014 Annual Report
The Hingham Fire Department responded to a total of 3936 Emergency Calls during 2014. Included in that number are over 1500 medical transports to local hospitals and several hundred medical assists. This does not include the hundreds of inspections we conduct each year including smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector inspections, hydrant inspection and maintenance, inspections of sprinkler systems and places of public assembly. Many hours are also required for plans review for new construction as well as building additions and alterations. The department also participates in fire prevention activities and first aid training to our schools and community groups. It should also be noted that most of the apparatus repairs as well as fire station repairs are accomplished by fire department members thereby saving the community considerable amounts of money. Consideration should be given for an additional day time staff person in order to coordinate the additional training needs and emergency medical services that the department is required and expected to provide.
Our mutual aid program with our neighboring communities continues to be healthy. Aid was provided to Hull, Cohasset, Norwell, Rockland and Weymouth and those towns in return assisted Hingham when needed. The mutual aid program includes covering fire stations, responses directly to incidents and providing medical aid.
The Fire Department Assets Review Committee, appointed by the Board of Selectmen in 2013 has determined that our two satellite fire stations, both of which were constructed in 1942 are very much in need of upgrades. The stations have served the town well and ascetically are three of the finest looking fire stations in the country. The fact remains however that very little has been done to upgrade the major building systems and bring them up to current building and safety codes standards as well as redefining their role in the greatly expanded responsibilities of a modern day fire and emergency services agency.
When the stations were built, each station responded to approximately 150 emergency incidents per year, predominately fire related. Now each station responds to over 2000 calls per year and the calls range from fires to medical emergencies, to technical rescue, weather events and unfortunately the threat of terrorism. Our firefighters have done a wonderful job of maintaining the stations and making alterations where prudent but were well beyond the point of piecemeal repairs. A feasibility study conducted by the Architectural Firm of Dore & Whittier has also concluded that the buildings are well beyond there useful life and in need of major upgrades. The good news is that they have concluded that the basic building skeleton and major structural components are sound and are recommending refurbishment rather than replacement. This will result in a saving to the town of almost $3 million per building. I am requesting at the 2015 annual town meeting that the sum of $500,000 be appropriated to begin the process of architectural plans through bid process so we may begin the necessary repairs and upgrades to North Fire Station located at 230 North St.
It will also be necessary in future years to appropriate additional funds to complete the North Station renovation project and then move on the South Hingham Fire Station. The type and scope of work necessary on the South Fire Station will be dictated by what the community eventually decides on the level of fire and EMS services that the south end of Hingham requires.
With the continued build-out of South Hingham, it is increasingly apparent that an additional fire station is needed to reduce response times in the south end of Hingham. An acceptable response time for a fire or medical emergency should be no longer than seven minutes. A maximum of five to six minutes is the ideal standard. We are now responding to a substantial amount of emergencies where the response times are well beyond the acceptable standard. The need for an additional fire station was first recognized by a committee which reported its findings to the town in the 1968 Annual Town Report and reaffirmed by the Asset Committee in 2014.
The 2014 Annual Town Meeting approved the purchase of two new fire engines. The department, working with a fire apparatus purchase committee consisting of members of the department, developed apparatus specifications and delivery of the vehicles is expected in early 2016. This will put our apparatus fleet in fine shape and is consistent with our long term capital replacement schedule.
Work on the South Shore Regional Dispatch Center continues. The center has proven its worth on several occasions when multiple incidents occur as there are now several dispatchers available to answers 911 phone calls, provide medical advice and direction over the phone prior to arrival of EMS personal and meet the needs of the field units. In addition as much as 2 minutes of response time is reduced when mutual aid units are needed. When dealing with life dependent emergencies, two minutes can make the difference!
The department continues to work with MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) by attending meetings and exercises designed to assist local communities with situations that may be beyond the scope and abilities of local resources.
Please be sure to test and check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. They are life saving devices that required yearly maintenance. Smoke detector should be replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide every 7 years. In recent years there has been an increase in carbon monoxide related events in residential homes and the department is very concerned. The department is always ready to assist a resident with the purchasing or installation of these devices. It is also important to make sure gas vents are properly cleared of snow.
Firefighter/Master Mechanic Charles Bacon retired in May after 35 years of service. Chuck was a very dedicated member of the department and was involved in many different activities all of which advanced the fire service in general and the Hingham Fire Department specifically. His mechanical skills as well as his carpentry skills will be greatly missed. In addition he served as an Emergency Medical Technician and was involved with several community activities outside the department.
Administrative Assistant Kate Knorr also retired after serving in the position for 17 years. She joined the department under Chief Johnson and was instrumental in implementing the needed business changes to the department recordkeeping. She assisted the current Chief and Deputy in their understanding of the systems and was always ready to provide any advice and assistance where she could. Kate was a great asset to the department, its members, the Deputy and myself. We all wish her a long, safe and healthy retirement.
Fire Captain Wayne Dennis, Fire Captain Charles Grainger, Firefighters Peter Tutkus, Bruce Kelly and Call Firefighter Colby Linscott all passed away during the year. All of the men were dedicated to the department and the community.
In closing I would like to thank all the members of the department and the town departments and committees we work with each day for their generous cooperation and assistance. The residents of Hingham are the benefactors of this wonderful relationship that has existed for many years and it makes our town a wonderful place in which to both work and reside.
Mark Duff, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director