2016 NEWS


(October 13, 2016)  The Rehoboth Fire Department was recently able to train with Firematic and HURST Jaws of Life, the newest line of auto extrication equipment.

    The RFD’s current "Jaws of Life" and associated tools, owned by the town, are 10- years-
old and carried on the Special Hazards vehicle.  These tools are powered by hydraulic hoses tethered to the truck, so use is limited by the length of hoses and accessibility of victims.

    This poses a significant problem when a vehicle is deep into the woods or someone is trapped inside a building or under equipment out in a field. Firefighters must first disconnect the equipment from the truck and additional equipment must be carried out to the victim, then reattached to perform the extrication.

    The newest line of extraction equipment allows firefighters to save previous time. Known as "eDRAULIC" the equipment is operated by a high-capacity battery powered hydraulic pump in each tool. This allows for instant power and unlimited distance from the responding apparatus.


(November 22, 2016)  The Rehoboth Fire Department is sharing important information from an alarm recall of the Kidde NightHawk talking combo smoke/CO alarm.

   Hard-wired into a home’s electrical system, model number KN-COSM-IB and manufacture dates between June 1, 2004 and December 31, 2010, can fail to continue to chirp when it reaches its seven year end of life if the batteries are replaced, leading consumers to believe it is still working.

    In August 2015, Uxbridge, MA Deputy Chief and Fire Inspector Steven Tancrell discovered an apparent problem with this particular type of alarm and notified the Department of Fire Services. Fire Protection Engineer Jacob Nunnemacher of the Fire Safety Division provided Deputy Chief Tancrell with the information necessary to report his findings to Kidde technical support and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission which ultimately led to this recall.

     The unit has a compartment on the back for the installation of a replaceable 9-volt backup battery. The alarm is white, round and measures about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. “Kidde” is engraved on the front of the alarm. “Kidde,” the model number and manufacture dates are printed on a label on the back on the alarm.

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled alarms and contact Kidde directly at their toll-free number (855-239-0490) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.kidde.com for a free replacement alarm based on date of manufacture or a discount on a new alarm.


(October 4, 2016)  Rehoboth firefighters contained a diesel fuel spill yesterday following an accident involving a tractor trailer on Route 195.

    Public safety personnel were called to the scene of an accident Monday morning after a tractor trailer ran off the westbound highway into the woods. One of the truck’s fuel tanks split open and firefighters were tasked with containing the spill.  EMS evaluated the driver who did not appear to be injured.

     Along with Rehoboth police, numerous agencies were summoned to the scene including Massachusetts State Police, Mass Highway, Mass DEP, a heavy duty recovery company, and a pollution control company.

    Rehoboth Fire cleared the scene after pumping out the truck’s fuel tanks.  Removing the rig and road clean up took several hours.


(September 12, 2016) Over 40 members of the Rehoboth Fire Department attended a department-wide training yesterday morning and remembered victims of 9/11.

    All firefighters stopped training exercises at 10:03 AM for a moment of silence for all lives lost in the attacks fifteen years ago on September 11.  They also struck box  5-5-5 on the bells signifying the last alarm for the 343 firefighters lost that fateful day. 

   Following the memorial observance, firefighters completed their training session on tanker shuttle and water supply in the parking lots of Palmer River Elementary and Beckwith Middle schools.


(August 31, 2016) The Rehoboth Fire Department has released an appeal to the community on their website to inform residents of the critical condition of the town’s public safety building, and the dire need for a new building.

    The town’s existing public safety building, over 50-years-old, houses the RFD headquarters, Fire Station 1, the Rehoboth Police Department, Rehoboth Ambulance and EMS services, and also REMA (Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency).

    Residents are encouraged to learn about the current conditions, both inside and outside, presented in plain, straight forward language with illustrative photos and captions.

    The current public safety building “is on the critical list” and the fire department outgrew their space long ago.  Now, the lack of proper working conditions, has become “counter productive” to the mission. 

    Fire Chief Frank Barresi serves on the town’s Public Safety Building Needs Assessment Committee. The committee has spent the last three years coming up with a cost-effective solution -- a single, conveniently located municipal complex on the site of the existing building on Anawan Street.  The new building will also house the town offices, currently located in an over 70-year-old cinder block building off Peck Street.

   “Our firefighters protect the lives and property of Rehoboth citizens along with all those who visit our town,” said Barresi. “Over the last twenty years, with an ever-growing population, the RFD mission has changed dramatically.  Existing conditions make is extremely difficult and we have reached a point of no return.” 

    To read the fire department’s appeal to citizens and learn more about the situation, visit RehobothFD.com.


(July 4, 2016)  Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched on Saturday afternoon to Summer Street on the report of fire and smoke from the copula of a barn.

     First arriving units observed the copula atop the second floor of the barn fully involved with heavy smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished with the first arriving engine.

    Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi said “the guys made a great stop. There is some fire and water damage but the property was saved.”

    Firefighters were on scene for approximately ninety minutes while the fire was overhauled and investigated. Stations 1 & 3 were at the scene while Station 2 covered the town from headquarters. Rehoboth EMS provided rehab on a very warm day with water and paramedics.

    Rehoboth police shut down Summer Street at French until the operation was completed. There were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but appears to be accidental. (Photo by Syd Bauman)


(June 6, 2016)  Several officers of the Rehoboth Fire Department received certificates of completion for specialized training in arson investigation and fire science on Monday, June 20 at a regular meeting of the board of selectmen.

     Nationally renowned instructor and expert on the subject matter, Chief Ronald Churchill (Ret.) of the Attleboro Fire department taught the course.

   “I was honored that Chief Churchill offered to present this course to Rehoboth’s officers,” said Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi.

    The course ran for three hours a night for several weeks and culminated with live burns of a house and three automobiles.  The officers were then put in teams to investigate the cause and origin of the fires.

    “The presence or suspicion of arson or malicious intent needs to be recognized and identified early on during any type of fire” said Barresi.

    “Chief Churchill has afforded our officers the training, tools and awareness to determine possible causes early on during an incident and know how to conduct an investigation.”

   A total of 14 of RFD officers and one detective from the Rehoboth Police Department, were awarded certificates by Chief Churchill during the open forum section of the Selectmen’ meeting. The department new tanker truck was also on display in the parking lot of the senior center.

     Chairman Vadnais congratulated the officers and thanked them for their service along with the rest of the BOS. Barresi said, “ I can’t thank Chief Churchill enough for providing this training to my officers.”

    Chief Churchill stated he enjoyed the camaraderie, respect, brotherhood and professionalism of the Rehoboth officers.  He told selectmen, “They were a great group to work with.”


(June 6, 2016)  In the afternoon of Monday, June 27, the Rehoboth Fire Department and Rehoboth Ambulance, along with Rehoboth Police, were dispatched to a fully involved boat fire on Hornbine Road.  The boat was on a trailer in the yard and was being serviced at the time of the fire. It took approximately 15 minutes to extinguish the fire and another 45 minutes to overhaul and investigate the fire. The boat was a total loss.


(June 6, 2016)  Firefighters from Berkley, Freetown, Lakeville and Rehoboth participated in a training exercise on Sunday, June 5, 2016. The training simulated a tanker response to Berkley through the Bristol County Mutual Aid Agreement.

    Apparatus trucked water from a fill site two miles away and delivered it to a simulated fire scene where it was pumped onto the “fire” through a pumper and ladder truck. The training was considered a success and the departments were able to familiarize themselves with each others equipment and capabilities. Berkley responds to Rehoboth on the first request for mutual aid tankers. They were operating at a recent fire on Summer Street.


(March 1, 2016)  The Rehoboth Fire Department informs residents that open burning day rules restrictions, regulated by the State and the Fire Chief, are being expanded each year. Overcast skies, rain, wind at any speed and dry conditions are just some of the guidelines that need to be considered on a daily basis. 

    “You are required to call for permission to burn every day that you wish to burn,” explained Fire Chief Frank Barresi.  “If you call and are advised there is "no burning" on a particular day, then burning is not allowed.”

    Residents should be aware that call takers cannot change that decision. “We have had instances already this season where those seeking permission to burn have been argumentative and abusive to our call takers and this will not be tolerated,” emphasized Barresi.

     For more information and a complete policy on open burning please refer your permit or the fire department website at rehobothfd.com. Thank you for your consideration and be safe!


(February 1, 2016) Rehoboth public safety personnel were dispatched early Sunday morning for a motor vehicle crash on Route 44.

   On arrival officials found a motor vehicle flipped on its side with the lone occupant trapped. The pole that was struck was snapped in half at the base with wires down. 

   Firefighters used hydraulic cutting tools and saws to remove the roof of the vehicle and extricate the victim in approximately twenty minutes. The occupant was transported to the hospital by Rehoboth EMS in unknown condition.

    Route 44 was shut down in both directions and remained closed for most of the early morning while National Grid replaced the pole and wires. The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the Rehoboth PD.


(January 20, 2016) Rehoboth firefighters and police were dispatched shortly after 2 AM this morning to a report of a single-family house fire at 79 Chestnut Street in Rehoboth.

    Police officers assisted residents evacuate the building while firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire on the second floor and mounted an aggressive interior attack.

   “Firefighters did an excellent job considering the temperature at the time of the call was 20 degrees and dropping,” said RFD Chief Frank Barresi.  While the fire was reported knocked down in twenty minutes, “it took over an hour to expose all of the hidden fire and fully extinguish it,” noted Barresi.

   Two of the six residents living in the home were taken to the hospital by Rehoboth EMS as a precaution for possible smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.

    The cause of the house fire remains under investigation by the RFD. Initial observations indicate it may be accidental. The last units cleared the scene at 5:16 this morning.

   A sander was also requested from the Rehoboth Highway Department to treat the area of Chestnut Street that became iced over. The family is being assisted by the RFD Chaplain, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army with shelter and other necessities.


The non-profit Rehoboth Call Firefighters Association will host their annual ball on Saturday, March 19 at Hillside Country Club.  As a group, the association helps raise money for the RFD as a whole including purchasing safety equipment, offering a scholarship, purchasing a ball ticket for each member of the department, and assisting firefighters in need and their families. The annual event features a program book featuring purchased ads.  Donation options include a full-page ad for $100, half page for $75, quarter page for $50 and booster for $25.  Deadline is February 15.  Please contact Captain Ken Marcotrigiano, co-chair, at 508-439-0333 to place an ad or make a donation. For tickets, contact Captain Dan Noons at 508-509-8357.


(January 14, 2016) The Rehoboth Fire Department will receive two grants from the Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) program including $4,237 for a student program and $2,716 for a senior citizen program.

    The department has been the recipient of S.A.F.E. grants for many years with Lt. Randy Larrivee managing both programs designed to bring awareness and education to local school children and elders in the community.

    The SAFE programs are designed to lower the overall fire-related risk reduction in the community. Since the inception of the program twenty years ago, child fire deaths have been reduced by a phenomenal 72 percent.  Important issues to be covered include fire prevention, general home safety, and how to be prepared in the event of a fire.

     Fire Chief Frank Barresi credits the hard work and dedication of Larrivee, and the firefighters who assist him, with the program’s local success.  "Lt. Larrivee is totally dedicated to the mission of the program and deserves all of the credit for it's success,” emphasized Barresi.  

    Anyone seeking more information or wishing to have a presentation for their group or organization can contact the RFD at 508-252-3725 or visit their website.


(January 9, 2016) A Rehoboth woman was critically injured after being burned in a home fire on Salisbury Street early this morning.

   Police officers and and firefighters were dispatched to the single family residence at 100 Salisbury after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor the home was on fire and that a single female occupant has escaped.  The caller described the victim, who had run to the nearby relative’s home, as “completely burned.”  

    Officers Craig Warish and Douglas Brown arrived on scene within two minutes  and confirmed the living room area of the home was engulfed in fire with heavy smoke. Using portable fire extinguishers, the officers were able to safely knock down the flames and determine there were no other occupants inside the home.  They rendered medical aid to the 43-year-old victim until the ambulance arrived.    

     Rehoboth firefighters were able to fully extinguished the fire and conduct over-haul operations in the home.  It was determined the fire was isolated to the living room area of the home. The victim was transported to the RI Hospital for injuries listed as critical at the time of her arrival.

    The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation by the Rehoboth Fire Department, Rehoboth Police Departments along with the Massachusetts State Fire Marshals Office, and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit.


(February 21, 2017) The Rehoboth Fire Department recently uncovered many pictures of the department dating back to the early 1950's. The department is looking to piece together a history of the department from its inception to the present.  We are attempting to identify the firefighters in them and will publish a few every month.  The department is looking to piece together a history of the department from its inception to the present. 

    If anyone has any pictures or memorabilia and would like to share it, in order for us piece together the history of your fire department, please feel free to contact the department.  508-252-3725 or email info@rehobothfire.com


(October 17, 2017)  The Rehoboth Fire Department’s “SAFE” crew spent the weekend of October 14 and 15 helping residents of Horton Estates, an over-55 community, with their smoke detectors and alarms.

     SAFE officer Lt. Larrivee, along with firefighters Chris Riley, and Anthony Lizotte installed new batteries in over 30 homes.  The safety measure was initiated by Kevin Tierney, a member of the Horton Estates governing board.

While some residents provided new batteries, most were purchased through grant money and installed free of charge.  New smoke detectors and CO alarms were also installed by the firefighters, as well as house number signs for many residents.

     Recently the SAFE crew made visits to elementary and middle school students in Rehoboth teaching them about fire safety measures.  Pictured above are Firefighter Riley, Kevin Tierney and SAFE Officer Lt. Larrivee.


Rehoboth resident Michael Koussa, a Boy Scout in North Dighton-based Troop 3, is seeking the public’s help identifying local firefighters’ graves as his Eagle Scout Service Project for the Rehoboth Fire Department. 

    Working with Rehoboth Assistant Fire Chief Mark Haskell and the Rehoboth Cemetery Commission, Koussa’s project consists of locating the graves, placing special firefighter recognition markers and firefighter memorial flags at grave sites.  He is currently going through a roster of 121 past firefighters to locate their final resting places. 

     Please visit Eagle Scout Project page for full information about Michael’s worthwhile project and a roster of firefighter names.


(Monday, November 6, 2017). As of November 2, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a product recall on Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles due to failure to discharge and nozzle detachment.  The Rehoboth Fire Department is urging residents to check their home extinguishers.  The recall involves 134 models of Kidde extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, or about 37.8 million devices.  All information can be found on the Kidde website.



(February 28, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department has encountered numerous issues related to home inspections and urge residents to follow proper compliance procedures including planning for adequate lead time for inspections.

    Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 148 section 26F, mandates that “upon sale or transfer of homes the seller must install approved smoke detectors.” Chapter 148 section 26 1/2 also mandates the installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

     “We have had numerous requests for inspections within seven days or less of closing dates and this cannot be accommodated,” emphasized Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi.  “Please plan ahead!”

        It is imperative to schedule an inspection a minimum of three weeks in advance, and as early as one month, before your closing date. Inspections are only done on Tuesday mornings and if you have not scheduled your inspection well in front of your closing date you may have to reschedule your closing.

      According to Barresi, the realtor is responsible for the preparation and proper compliance for the inspection. “We are seeing numerous cases when that responsibility is being passed on to the seller,” he explained.   “As part of their responsibility, your realtor has a legal obligation to guide you through compliance and scheduling of this inspection.”

        The date of construction of your property and your fuel requirements for appliances and heating determines the type and number of devices required and the proper operation of them. Devices must be placed in the proper location and fall within the area requirements for the home. Devices in the wrong locations must be moved. A local ordinance also requires the house to be adequately numbered at the street with easy-to-read numbering.

     Having the wrong or inoperable devices will result in a failed inspection. Home owners should also understand that non-compliant, inoperable, broken and illegal devices will not pass inspection and there will be an additional fee of $35 for a re-inspection.

     Home inspection fees of $35 must be rendered by check only payable to the Town of Rehoboth.  Cash and credit cards are not accepted. More information about regulations can be found on the mass.gov website.

    “If you can’t find the answers to questions regarding compliance for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in this guide,” said Barresi,  “please feel free to contact us at 508-252-3725 for additional assistance. We sincerely want the sale of your home, as it relates to this mandated inspection, to be painless and free of frustration!”