N. Andover concerned about liability for mutual aid firefighters

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fire N. Andover concerned about liability for mutual aid firefighters

With North Andover providing more help to the short-handed fire department in neighboring Lawrence, concerns are growing among selectmen about the town’s potential liability.

Cash-strapped Lawrence has cut nearly $2 million from its fire budget and laid off 23 firefighters. Neighboring communities like North Andover are being asked to provide more mutual aid than usual to Lawrence.

Selectman Tracy Watson tells the Eagle-Tribune that her town would never say ‘no’ to its neighbor, but she wonders about increased liability to North Andover should a firefighter be injured or a fire truck damaged while battling a blaze in Lawrence.

Under state law, if a firefighter is hurt while on a mutual aid call, the community that firefighter works for is responsible for the costs associated with the injury.

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