Lake Placid village board rejects fire department officers
Cites failure to meet OSHA standards
LAKE PLACID — After a nearly hour-long executive session, the village Board of Trustees voted to disapprove of the officers the village fire department elected for 2017-18.
Trustee Scott Monroe moved a draft read by village Clerk Ellen Clark, which said the board disapproves of the elected officers due to a failure of the fire department providing proof that the officers have the requisite qualifications based on minimum standards noted in the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fire protection and fire brigade standards — OSHA subpart 1910.156C1.
Trustee Jason Leon seconded Monroe’s motion, which was passed with no objection as Deputy Mayor Art Devlin also voted in favor. Trustee Peter Holderied was absent. Mayor Craig Randall typically does not vote except to break a tie. Approval had been tabled from the board’s April 17 meeting.
In an April 4 letter, Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department Secretary and Treasurer Karen Fountain informed the board that the department had selected Jim Wasson as chief, Mike St. Louis as first assistant chief, Matt Wood as second assistant chief, Adam Marshall as first captain, Ryan St. Louis as second captain and Josh Pellkey as third captain while not filling the fourth captain position.
Randall said that after the fire department elected its officers, questions and concerns were brought to the board about those elected not meeting qualification and certification standards, and that the fire department subsequently had not provided qualification and certification information for its slate of officers as of Monday’s meeting.
The mayor added that the department’s elected officer selections have typically come to the board level in the past with no comments and that the board approved them without the same qualification standard information brought to their attention this year.
“And I have no reason to believe that we won’t get to approval with this one,” Randall said. “It’s just that when somebody raises a question, we all go back and do our homework and realize we need further supporting information.”
Randall declined to say who brought the concern to the board. Village Attorney Janet Bliss described the situation as the board becoming “enlightened with some recent research that was caused by somebody raising the issue of, ‘Well, what are the qualifications?’
“The board did some homework and said, ‘Yeah, we should be getting this,’” Bliss added.
“What’s interesting here is they have their own protocol for how they call their elections,” Randall added. “We don’t know at this point that we are not going to approve them all. We may; we may not. It’s inherent upon us to make sure that we’ve got the proper credentials to support the approvals we are giving.”
The fire department had not responded to the village board’s action as of press time.