Fired North Yarmouth firefighter Bill Young is my brother. However, I am writing as a 40-plus-year resident of North Yarmouth and a 35-plus-year manager in health care. Over the years I have listened to the complaints of not just my brother, but of many of the firefighters and rescue volunteers about the way they have been treated by the town. Most of it boils down to not feeling respected or appreciated for their knowledge and opinions.
I have attended a volunteer meeting in the past and found the confusion around policies and procedures to be troubling. Policies and procedures are not complete, and they are not discussed with or accepted by volunteers. Part of my responsibility at my job was to be in compliance with government requirements. My deep frustration is that the town manager is not ensuring that these requirements are being met by the town, subjecting us all to fines and lawsuits. How can you hold anybody accountable for anything if you have not got your own house in order?
Instead of taking this opportunity to elevate the town by listening to the people who care enough to volunteer their time, our manager decided that it would be better to have an emotional outburst about a petty issue and fire the only paramedics. This is an obvious lack of judgement and skill. I suggest that the person who needs to go is the town manager. We need someone who can bring North Yarmouth into the future with confidence.