Western Massachusetts fire chiefs meet with local leaders at annual breakfast

West Springfield Fire Chief Bill Flaherty said the meeting is important for both sides.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts fire chiefs were at the Log Cabin in Holyoke Friday morning to meet with state and local leaders.

The annual legislative breakfast gives local fire chiefs the opportunity to address upcoming priorities and concerns within their departments.

West Springfield Fire Chief Bill Flaherty told 22News the meeting is essential for both sides.

“I think that’s the biggest purpose of having this here – is for them getting to know us and us getting to know them. And to really know that we do have concerns about the fire service,” said Flaherty.

Major issues this year include extending accidental disability benefits to include firefighters who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as adding certain cases of suicide to line of duty death benefits.