Kennebunk's deputy fire chief resigns amid allegations of misconduct

Mar 31, 2011 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: York Weekly

Deputy Fire Chief Andy Turcotte resigned Friday, March 25, a day after being placed on paid administrative leave following allegations he sent a racist e-mail to town employees and had one employee babysit his girlfriend's child while he went out on a call.

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tony

Caledonia, WI

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#1
Apr 5, 2011
 
No email was ever sent...the employee was not paid...a life was saved...Mr. Tibbetts retracted his statement...the director resigned 3 days later...these are facts.
My questions are 1-why has Dan Limmer had an axe to grind with the past two deputy chiefs, and what will the next in line have to deal with? 2- how do you save a life on your day off and later be asked to resign? 3-how can an honest article be written without any fire and rescue employees being contacted? 4- why was there such limited support from the town?
tony

United States

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#2
Apr 6, 2011
 
Why didn't the editor check the facts before printing such a misleading article? I thought that was still important in reporting the news. Evidently Mrs. Dolce thinks that it is fine to print whatever it is that is in her best interest.
Kportff

Nashua, NH

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#3
Nov 18, 2012
 
And why did he not get a big thank you from the town. He would have been hailed a hero in any other department. And I would like to know what Dr Schmitz wrote in his resignation letter. The department should have done anything to keep Chief Turcotte and Dr Schmitz as these two were paving the way for a much better ambulance service. And now I see Kennebunk can't fill EMS shifts and its not a once in a while issue. Its a daily staffing concern. And how many professionals have left the department and more importantly how many transfers has the department lost and how much of the revenues been lost. And how about better coverage now. I hear the delays in calls because of staffing issues and I hear how much mutual aid is being used. So Mr Limmer, now that Chief Turcotte, your arch enemy is gone, how has the EMS improved in Kennebunk. How long until you or someone start attacking Chief Nichols or the new deputy chief. It seems like the department has gone downhill since the Chief moved on. Laura Dolce and Dan Limmer should be ashamed of writing such a one sided, non factual article in an attempt to discredit Turcotte. Those that know Andy Turcotte, know that he is one of the most intelligent, kindest, dedicated and professional individual they could ever meet. And those of you that do not will easily be able to read behind the lines of these attacks on him as a person, leader and Chief. I'm sure Chief Nichols and Chief Mackenzie are missing working with you. We welcome him back across the bridge anytime
Kportff

Nashua, NH

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#4
Nov 18, 2012
 
this story has bothered me since learning about it. Chief Turcotte was more than just a man sitting behind a desk. He was a leader. A dedicated professional who improved the department drastically by actually holding people accountable instead of letting the good ole boy club hold Chief Nichols hostage. What he brought to the department was a breath of fresh air. He improved trainings, policies and brought in new equipment and more importantly ideas. Ideas that included working more with the community leaders, businesses, area schools and with not only surrounding towns but with state agencies to help bring more awareness to the consequences of underage drinking. Chief Turcotte was very visible at the local and state level and represented kennebunk at numerous fire and ems meetings and conferences. This article missed many key facts. One that Dan Limmer worked for the paper that ran the story. Two Dan Limmer did not like Turcottes ideas on expanding a transfer service because Limmer thought that it would have a negative effect on ambulance responses in Kennebunk. Well if you don't have the staff then a department wouldn't even be able to handle the simplest of calls. Chief Turcotte had a vision and well thought out plan. Watching the Chief discuss his plans to the board you obviously knew he had done his homework and he articulated the plan very well. Not only would the ambulance bring in more revenues for the town it also brought in two more firefighters and emt that would also help with other daily calls. And per office administrator Karen Wheeler, stated on average the department handled about one transfer a day and the average transfer was completed within 60 to 90 minutes. This means that those two extra staff members would provide 22 to 23 extra hours to cover local emergencies.
Kportff

Nashua, NH

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#5
Nov 18, 2012
 
For Limmer, who is suppose to be an expert in the field of EMS, should have been able to recognize the benefits of what the Chief was trying to do. Limmer had an axe to grind with the Chief, as he had with former Deputy Chief David Cluff, who years earlier had attempted to implement a similar service. Three. It was clear Limmer was out to get the Chief after the heated debate on the issue and numerous people heard Limmer state he was going to make Turcottes life a living hell all because the Chief spoke up for what he believed was right for the Department and the Community. And it was no big secret as Tibbetts, Chief Nichols and Joel Downs were all aware of what Limmer had stated in a threatening manner to the Chief. Four. That email that Turcotte received did not go through his work email. In fact, it was a forwarded email that was sent all through out the pubic safety sector. I know this because I was on the same email distribution list and received the same email at the same time the Chief did. Five. On the day in question when the Chief used a town employee to baby sit his child, not his wives. And the town employee had not even reported to work yet. Chief Turcotte heard the call and when no paramedic responded he contacted the dispatch to have another tone for a paramedic. And the call in question was for an elderly female not breathing. When no paramedic responded to the second page for a paramedic Chief Turcotte then asked to see if Arundel was available, and if Barry Tibbetts would have researched this he would have known that they were contacted but they were unavailable because they were one a call. Another point that was missing was that Turcotte attempted to contact Chief Nichols to ask him to swing to his house to watch his daughter or bring him to work with him until Chief Turcotte returned from the call. Another fact that was omitted was that when the police officers arrived on scene the house was locked and they noticed the patient was lying unresponsive on the floor. When they made entry by breaking down the door they found the patient barely breathing. At this time Chief Turcotte contacted a town employee who was also a family friend who knew his daughter. Fortunately that employee was a block away and was happy to do it. Chief Turcotte stated he would follow up with the finance office when he returned. The Chief made a split decision to help his neighbor in distress and helped save this womans life. I don't know about any of you, but if it was my mother, son or daughter I would Chief Turcotte involved in their care as he is a top notch paramedic. Six. Dr Mike Schmitz who was kennebunk fire medical director, resigned directly after the investigation into Chief Turcotte and in his letter to the editor made it clear that what was missing was the fact that Turcotte saved a neighbors life. And another fact, was that the paper would not print his entire letter to the editor. Seven. Other facts were that Chief Turcotte notified Chief Nichols, TM Barry Tibbetts and finance director Joel Downs and stated he would pay for the employees time and their response was he was all set and they actually thanked him for his service.
Kportff

Nashua, NH

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#6
Nov 18, 2012
 
Chief Turcotte was well respected by the community, other department heads and from all local and many fire and ems agencies throughout the state of Maine. And more importantly Chief Nichols always spoke highly of Turcotte and stated his energy, dedication and professionalism couldn't be matched by anyone. Having worked with Turcotte, I know he is a man of integrity who always put others above himself even as he was actively being treated for cancer during his entire tenure at kennebunk. Turcotte made the decision that day because someones life was on the line and on his day off he made that decision to help a member within the community. I'm sure if the woman knew that Turcotte was reprimanded for saving her life, she would be appalled as I along with most everyone else was.
And last I knew, Chief Turcotte nearly doubled ambulance revenues during his tenure in addition to working with the police department to help develop the consequences of underage drinking video point of no return, helped establish a bicycle safety program in addition to the many other community projects he spear headed. And going in as an outsider to kennebunk fire I'm surprised the Chief took it and lasted as long as he did. But he did it because he was dedicated to Chief Nichols, the community and to the employees he worked with day in and day out. And as far as Limmer goes, what goes around comes around and if people haven't recognized his two sides, eventually if you interact with him you will. Chief Turcotte made a good decision in leaving that mess of a town. Its ashamed because they lost a good man, dedicated chief and leader. So here are the facts. Best of luck Chief

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