Published DateTo the editor,
This letter is in response to Kevin Leandro's letter of February 5.
Kevin, did you not receive the toy fire truck or Texaco Chief fire helmet that you wanted as a child? Perhaps there was a traumatic incident involving a fire truck while hauling trash in Providence or Cranston, RI working for your dad. Your crusade against the Gilford Fire Department and all of it's members has been shameless. You have made wild accusations of incompetence and intimidation. You've even claimed to have been physically assaulted in the lobby of Hannaford by a member of Gilford fire dept. When this non-incident was investigated and found to be completely false, you admitted to me that you "may have been mistaken".
One of your most recent caustic e-mails (composed in the wee hours of the a.m.) refers to me as a fool, Chief Carrier as a liar, insulted Selectman O'Brien and attempted to belittle a man by describing him as a 400-pound mechanic. Do you even proof read your slanderous letters before pressing send? Your most recent letter to the editor continues to malign the BOFE and the Fire Department, so let me clarify the true facts. We did not "let that truck sit for six months following March 21st town meeting". The truck was taken to LRFA for repair April 13th per the voters will. You also claim that had a new truck been ordered in March, it wouldn't have been deliver for twelve months, despite our written commitment of "delivery in approximately 240 days." This is now a moot issue because Engine 4 is soon to be returned to service following extensive repair by DPW and LRFA.
Now on to Engine 2 and our current apparatus dilemma. Engine 2 was towed by a professional towing firm following a transmission issue and power loss. While being towed to a local repair facility damage did occur. The tow company has accepted responsibility and is willing to pay for the subsequent damage. The fault of this damage was the result of the tow operators and not Chief Carrier, as you have alleged.
Kevin, you also claim that a comprehensive preventative maintenance schedule does not exist within the department, but again you are wrong. In conjunction with DPW this program has been implemented by Chief Carrier for nearly a year. The "major deficiency discovered by you and Mr. Labonte" (Jan. 17) was an inaudible minor air leak that did not manifest itself mechanically in any manner. The repair was completed promptly by DPW mechanics. Chief Carrier was certainly not "reluctant" and needed no "persuasion" to address this issue. I am honestly curious as to the real circumstances regarding your "discovery" while under the tanker. During the same impromptu visit/inspection (as a Budget Committee members) your conduct was reprehensible. Chief Carrier was sworn at more than once by Mr. Labonte and yet again called a liar by you, Mr. Leandro. All witnessed by the staff on duty. You often claim that "Pat and I are only trying to help the fire department". . . really?
Despite your continued attempts at assasinating the character and integrity of Chief Carrier, he has remained committed to his duty to lead the men and women of his department and provide quality emergency services to the town and its residents. Gilford is fortunate to be served by a professional, extremely competent and compassionate fire rescue staff led by Chief Carrier.
PS - When I suggested listening to "the experts" regarding fire department apparatus, I am referring to both past and present administration and staff, not the BOFE.
William Akerley, Chair
Board of Fire Engineers - Gilford