In view of the Nov. 13 house fire that claimed the life of 39-year-old Lt. Jason Menard, the department’s second line-of-duty death in less than a year, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. Friday announced his intention to name a task force to look at firefighter safety.
The task force will do its work alongside the typically yearlong federal review the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health conducts as a matter of course after a firefighter dies on duty.
Augustus announced his intentions the same day a strongly worded editorial by Kathy Spencer was published in the Telegram & Gazette. Spencer is the widow of Lt. Thomas Spencer, one of the six city firefighters who died in the Worcester Cold Storage & Warehouse Co. fire on Dec. 3, 1999. She is also the mother of a current Worcester firefighter, Daniel Spencer.
Spencer’s piece, among other suggestions, called for better training.