A community on the North Shore is discussing an idea that would have police officers trained to become volunteer firefighters.
The goal of the proposal is to help with recent staffing shortages in Manchester-by-the-Sea, but the firefighters union doesn't think it's a good idea.
"The police department is understaffed," union president Bob Cavender said. "They're currently trying to hire more people. I don't see how taking on additional roles and responsibilities related to fire outside of their daily scope is a viable option."
The once-robust group of volunteer firefighters that were there in the past no longer exists, according to the town administrator of Manchester-by-the-Sea. Firefighters said the town hasn't had one in about two years.
The idea, Federspiel said, would be to have the volunteers help out at larger scenes where more resources are needed, not to replace career firefighters.