Firefighters Union: Our Concerns Are "Not A Priority" With Christenson

Union President George Romvos criticized the administration for the lack of a new east side fire station in the city, after it's Maplewood station closed last year.

A Thursday morning house fire in a Fremont St. triple-decker - only blocks from the city's former East Side Fire Station - came on the heels of a strong statement from the firefighter's union last week, criticizing Mayor Gary Christenson for failing to “prioritize the safety initiatives of our Malden Fire Fighters”, including the creation of a new station for the city's east side. 

The fire was put out quickly by firefighters at 15 Fremont Thursday, with no one in the vacant apartment at the time of the blaze. A spokeswoman with the state Fire Marshal's office said the scene remains under investigation.

“It appears that the Malden Fire Department and the concerns of Fire Fighters and citizens alike remain not a priority with the current administration,” union president George Romvos wrote in a statement.

“More than a year after the closing of the Maplewood Fire Station in Ward 6 due to the deplorable conditions of that station, we have yet to see any commitment toward building a new station dedicated to protecting residents on the east side of Malden.”

“Having only two fire stations actually located in Malden to serve nearly 60,000 Malden residents and a third station shared with and located in Revere, is a concern that weighs heavily on our Malden Fire Fighters, especially when we worry about response times,” he concluded.


Christenson: Station will be debated in the fall 

Mayor Gary Christenson mentioned that the city was involved in negotiations for a new fire station during his , but said that did not mean the purchase was imminent.

“There is no update,” Christenson wrote when asked about the status of those negotiations. “All of the focus has been on the (Fiscal Year) 2013 budget. Items such as a new fire station will be debated in the fall as part of the capital budget.”

The city has toyed with building a new east side fire station for decades, but the issue became a hot topic during a  in April last year, after Fire Chief Michael Murphy  following  commissioned by former Councilor-At-Large Deborah Fallon.

That forced firefighters back into the Overlook station, which they share with Revere.

Romvos did not respond to repeated calls for further comment this month. 

Michael Sullivan May 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Annie O.....I was at that meeting of the Board years ago when you got lit up by Gennetti....it was obscene the way you were treated,but let us look at the results....#2 High School in the State. What is wrong with that ??? Also you fail to mention the 1.2 million dollars the school offered to put a field turf surface down at Salemwood. All of our residents would have Benefited ,yet we are left with a field that cannot be used when it Rains. All because of the Anti -Charter sentiment that is displayed on this page. Your hatred blinds you.....may you someday drink with us !!!
Bill M May 27, 2012 at 09:19 PM
People. How did a story about a need for a fire station to protect the citizens of Maplewood turn into a charter school issue?
200 unPleasant May 27, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Bill M, do some research on Ward 6 Councilor/Charter School President/Public Safety Committee Chairman/Former Malden Fire Department Commissioner Neil Kinnon. You'll find all your answers there.
AnnieOMalden May 28, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Mike: If that is your idea of an apology, it doesn't cut it with me. Are you suggesting they can act in whatever way without apology as long as they skew a magazine poll to give them a smoke and mirrors award? Look at the top 25% of schools in this state and tell me the charter school is there? Why doesn't the MA Dept of Ed declare the school #2 in the state? Maybe the easiest way to explain the differences between you and I: you are a jock and I am an academic. You and your leader are more concerned about the athletics offered at the school (and jobs they can hand out to friends and family-don't tell me I'm wrong there!) than the quality of the science or computer lab or preparing the students for the real life outside the doors of the school. The school was built on a "world class education" and not diverting millions into building an athletic program or real estate portfolio. How many kids on the swim team? Maybe 20? Yeah, build a $13mil+ vanity project for a fraction of the student population. The school would be well served to have a limited athletic program: soccer, lacrosse, baseball and basketball. Could you imagine how fabulous the school would be if those millions were spent on the educational aspects or better facilities to service ALL the kids? Where did that $1.2mil come from that was to be diverted to the Salemwood field? From the backs of our kids, taking away from the educational assets of the school. Sorry, I'm a sipper not a drinker.
Michael Sullivan May 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Annie....You lost all credibility with your Jock and Academic analogies........You look like an angry woman who should be left with her opinions.......to get back on track, ask the people on the Linden side of the city if they like the location of the fire house. As for money thrown into education they have done that for years with limited results, it seems the Charter school is doing more with less and the vanity project you speak of houses 6 kindergarten classrooms, a gymnasium which every public school in the city has,and a swimming pool that houses one of the most successful swimming programs in the state with over 150 participants open to anyone. I will take that track record and academic success anytime.
Mary Murphy May 28, 2012 at 01:05 PM
My Niece tells me that some at the MVCS have been approached by a Union and the sentiment is strong that the time has come!! Ill be in the front row with my new walker to see this show as I believe fireworks are illegal in Malden.
200 unPleasant May 28, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Mary, as fireworks are illegal one should be especially careful with them on the East Side seeing you don't have any fire apparatus between downtown and Revere. To the Charter School Faculty, organize!!!! I'd Love to see the looks on Kouncilor Kinnon and his merry band fanatic cult faces with a strong local knocking on their door.
AnnieOMalden May 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Mike: You're right about the angry part when that much money is wasted on athletic programs and a gym not near enough for anyone but a kindergarten class! Again, how is that building servicing all the students on a daily basis? Only the ones involved in an athletic program, right? Since your family is so involved in sports you cannot see things from any other angle. It is clearly a school no longer based on academics. I don't want to say what you look like. You have to bash me instead of disputing what I have to say. Your friend Gennetti made me realize why the school should be run by qualified people with educational backgrounds, not friends and family of the politicos in this city. As far as the people in Linden, in case you didn't know, the Rowe's Quarry fire station was open while the Maplewood was open and our former Mayor closed it. There is no reason to have to close that station when we build a larger one located in the east side. Do you even live in the east side? What is your problem with MORE fire protection? Calling these first responders "bratty little kids"? Really? Maybe one too many knocks to the squash while you were playing football, Mike. Rest easy this holiday and give thanks to those who go into danger for all of us. Go easy on the koolaid too.
Michael Sullivan May 28, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Again...off Topic....I will leave you with your own twisted opinions, for as a wise man once said ....." you should never Hate......for you are the one who bleeds inside".
AnnieOMalden May 28, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Way to wimp out on a debate here, Mike, by name calling! I think it is fair to say you're not up to it. You perfectly illustrate my point. Take your ball and go home. LOL
H K Anderson May 28, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I would love to see a new fire station. I would also love to see the Rescue in service again. What I would really love to see is the anount of police be restored to what it was a few years ago. Do the police really have more bosses than street cops? Why doesn't the new mayor hire the amount that they are budgeted for. Did the old mayor teach him that? The firemen were hired with grant money and I can't imagine why the police aren't eligable for some grant money. By the way did I read we have a city photographer? Is that a necessity in a city that has had it's basic services cut and people are double taxed with blue bags. I clearly remember being told the blue bags would prevent cuts but their were cuts anyway.
Parks4All May 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Mike, here are the facts. The charter school board is responsible for the Maplewood Fire Station closure. They allowed the building to get in such deplorable shape. The MVRCS owns the firehouse building. Your kids did well at the Charter school but the fact is the MVRCS is bilking Malden taxpayers. The R in MVRCS is for REGIONAL. They are a PUBLIC school using taxpayer funding. The school owns at 8 UNTAXED parcels of real estate in MALDEN yet No Malden residents or organizations are allowed to use their multi million dollar sports facility. Mike, there is NO ANTI CHARTER sentiment that's just PR from your board. MVRCS is located in MALDEN. 72 different dialects spoken in our schools. MV is #2 for a reason. They have 0 PERCENT new English language learners WHY is that? Those kids take longer to learn the English language and they don't test well, they'd ruin their data. MVRCS does not educate homeless students like the Malden Public Schools. WHY is that? They would have to pay to transport them. MVRCS returns the students to the district schools when they need academic interventions or emotional support, WHY, they cost money and bring down their scores. Fact is MVRCS is an elitist school using public funds and MALDEN taxpayers are footing the bill. Mike, let's level the "playing field' of students and see who really comes out on top.Do you think you can convince the board to educate the English language learners, homeless kids, and kids who need extra support?
Parks4All May 28, 2012 at 11:55 PM
One more question for you Mike? On the Memorial Day, so many of our police and fire fighters have served and continue to serve us on the streets of Malden and in the military.. They put their LIFE on the line for us. Did you call them "bratty little kids"? Shame on you. The difference between you and them is this. They would "bleed' for you. Would you do the same?
AnnieOMalden May 29, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Michael Genzale: No, they are referring to M6Sullys aka Mike Sullivan.
Red May 29, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Why the dislike for the police department Mike? I would thing you have a good relationship with them being involved with Malden Crime Watch. Don't you speak with them on a regular basis reporting things? By the way the blue bag money was never geared for the police. Good luck to the Malden Fire Department I know they give their all to us everyday.
DannyBoy May 29, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Parks4All, you make complete sense. If MVRCS is taking money from the state, they should not be in the business of discriminating against students who don't fit their profile (ESL, learning disabilities, etc.), otherwise they should be treated as a private school, NOT as a public school. Sorry for going off-topic on this article, but that's my major beef with MVRCS. The state should look into investigating the school for any possible violations of rules and regulations.
DannyBoy May 29, 2012 at 09:37 PM
And we wonder why more and more voters are cynical about politics and angry at politicians. That's proof right there that pols will promise the world but can't deliver the goods.
david mokal May 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
WoW nobody got anything solved here. Sounds like a Linch Mob. You know what is funny none of you would say the same things if you were all face to face. Be much different tone. How sad neighbor against neighbor..Taxpayer against taxpayer...Dont make any scence. No matter what your opinion is it still is US against the establishment in what meets our demands. Yet we tend to fight among each other.
david mokal May 30, 2012 at 02:17 AM
We should all meet at City Hall and discuss what we feel. No Mayor No Council just a police officer so no one gets out of control. Just a good ol discussion against we taxpayers and residents of Malden. Then put together a portfolio of what we ant and present it with signatures. The Old Way is the best way.
DannyBoy May 30, 2012 at 03:01 AM
David, collecting signatures to put an initiative on the ballot has been done before. You may recall that when PAYT program was introduced - or, shall I say, shoved down the throat of Malden taxpayers by the previous mayor and city council without public input - back in 2009, the MTFA (or Malden Taxpayers For Accountability) galvanized residents to oppose this additional tax, and collected enough signatures to put an initiative to do away with PAYT on the ballot in November of that year. What happened next was that people, who went to vote, overwhelmingly supported to get rid of PAYT, but because of a technicality (not enough voters showed up at the polls), PAYT still stays. We can have all the discussions that we want, but voter apathy has done away with what civic pride and citizen engagement that remain in this country, and you can put the blame squarely on the convoluted business of politics and the nepotist incumbent politicians.
Jim May 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM
DannyBoy - Thanks for taking the time to articulate key sticking points like the PAYT tax. It's important for people to be engaged in what goes on in our city. I am new to this malden.patch site and enjoy the efforts made by yourself and others like Toni G. who submit posts that should matter to everyone. Again, thanks for your time and effort with these posts to this site.
coldwaterdiver May 31, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I know, is there a whinier union than the firefighter? Seems that they put out that fire just fine and are doing a great job. All they do is compain. You dont see a long line of firefighters quitting out of frustration. Why? Because overall their job isnt that hard. Most firefighters have enough free time to work second jobs or even own a small business on the side. They go out more for elevator stops than for fires. They have it good, they just dont want you to know about it. And the firehouse they "share" isnt really shared. Each city has their own side, equipment, and facilites. It would actually make more sense to have a truly shared facility there, but thats another topic.
coldwaterdiver May 31, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Annie, couple of things, you cant take parkland without replacing parkland. Trafton is not just used as a baseball field, which this time of year keeps it busy, but there is the dog lot on the side, which seems to get a lot of use. Also, firefighters dont like to share. Mayor had been in office for what, 4 months? Give the guy a chance.
coldwaterdiver May 31, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Yeah, I dont like the charter school setup, but you cant argue with their results. OF coarse it is easier when you dont have to educate the difficult students, which makes the recent ranking of Malden High all the more impressive, but I digress.....
AnnieOMalden May 31, 2012 at 09:31 PM
coldwater: Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't we recently purchase High Rock which is to be parkland? I believe a good architect could preserve the tot lot and the dog park. If one of them has to go, sorry to say puppies, but the babies win this one. I'd rather see the savings on not having to buy land and demolish a building put into a more deserving project. Or get better technology for the station or whatever the money could provide for the ff's. I have to admit there was a time I thought the same thing about a ff's job. Hang around all day until a call came in to save a cat in a tree or pull up on an accident to spray down the street. Until this past election when I got to meet many ff's and their families. The difference is that in their job, when they are called upon to save us and help us at a most desperate time be it medical or fire emergency they run to do it. Many of them have missed holidays and those every day things like going to their kids' ball games. They see the really bad stuff we don't have to. You could not pay me enough money to care for those junkies who od in the square. It makes no difference to them who you are. They come when you call as fast as they can. The hours are structured in a way that was worked out between the city and ff's everywhere. It is the way their job works. You could work a second job if you chose. This has nothing to do with any of that other than we have a condemned fire station which needs replacing. Fast.
Michael B Elvale June 01, 2012 at 01:04 AM
coldwater, if them firefighters have it so good, why aren't you one?? I heard they're hiring.....you can get in line with the other two guys! Its such an easy job nobody wants it.
MaldenMom June 01, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Are you kidding me with this about the charter school not teaching the homeless kids, kids that need a little help and those with emotional and physical disabilities. As far as the funding you are wrong. Please get your facts right before going on malden patch and telling people the wrong information.
Bill M June 13, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Does anybody know Malden's ISO rating?
Mary Murphy June 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Hi Bill M, I beileve the ISO rating for Malden fire department is a 4 (Cambridge is a 1). A friend of mine in the insurance business tells me that the ISO people were in Town recently to re-evaluate the rating, as they do every 5 or so years and we are in for a bit of a letdown as this rating would probably increase, which unfortunately for home owners and business owners means a spike in insurance costs!! Who can we thank for this?
Bill M June 24, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Thank you Mary, I figured it went up. With 5 minute response times to Maplewood it was bound to. God help us!


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