Wareham authorities talk fireworks, hurricanes during safety session

By Meghan Neely | May 26, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely From left: Assistant Harbormaster Jamie McIntosh, Wareham Fire Department Acting Chief Pat Haskell and Onset Fire Department Chief Ray Goodwin listen during a meeting on fireworks safety.

As the Onset Fourth of July fireworks approach, fire and police officials have an eye on safety with the addition of a mobile command center.

Recently, Wareham Police and Wareham and Onset Fire Department officials reviewed plans for the center. They also discussed measures to take for the upcoming hurricane season.

Roughly 20,000 people attend the Onset fireworks – set for July 7 this year – and for Acting Wareham Police Chief John Walcek, safety is a huge concern.

“We’ve been thinking about how to make this year's show better since the last one ended,” added Walcek. “And it’s important to us that everyone is safe.”

Walcek said the Wareham Police will be setting up a command center for the first time during the fireworks this year. A PA system will be used to broadcast any emergency instructions in case of severe weather during the show.

“A lot of people just see the fireworks and think that’s it,” said Onset Fire Chief Ray Goodwin. “They don’t realize all the work we put in beforehand to make sure that they do happen and that everyone has a good time.”

On the issue of hurricane season, Goodwin says he and his team are already watching the radar.

“We have one spinning the gulf right now,” Goodwin said. “The water is too cold for it make it up to us, but it’s time we start getting ready.”

During the meeting, both departments discussed possible radio communications, power outages and emergency shelter options.

“We already had a warm-up storm,” said Walcek. “And there are still a lot of people in Connecticut without power. We want to be ready for a situation like that here.”

The two departments will hold a follow-up meeting in June.

 

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