Aquinnah selectmen appointed acting fire chiefs this week as they begin the task of putting back together a depleted and leaderless fire department.

Capt. Simon Bollin is now acting deputy chief, the second in command, and Jay Smalley is assistant chief. The appointments are effective immediately and meant to establish a new chain of command to the thinly-staffed department, selectmen said.

The appointments come in the wake of acting fire chief Jim Vercruysse’s unexpected resignation earlier this month. The resignation is effective Jan. 1. Mr. Bollin said at the selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday he did not want to wait two weeks to begin necessary work and decision-making in the department. In the absence of a chief, a deputy chief has the same authority.

“[Our] hands are tied because Jim is the chief and we can’t do what we need to do until this change happens,” Mr. Bolin said. “A perfect example is the new truck sitting outside. Nothing is happening at the moment . . . and two weeks doesn’t seem like a lot of time but it is. We need to start fixing this now.”

With Mr. Vercruysse’s departure, the ranks of the Aquinnah fire department are too thin to operate — there are currently nine volunteers on the squad, and only Mr. Bollin is fully trained.

“There’s no one in town who can function at the capacity that’s needed right now,” said Mr. Bollin, a West Tisbury resident. “The issue is you don’t have a fire department. That’s the problem we have now.”

Selectman and board chairman Jim Newman said Mr. Bollin and Mr. Smalley have the full backing of the selectmen while the town searches for a new chief.

“We don’t want to rush into getting a chief,” he said. “We want to do this carefully and want to do this in a way that’s going to be constructive and support you two gentlemen. Hopefully we can move forward and start getting new recruits and get things going.”

In other fire department news, the town sold its old fire truck, a 1982 attack pumper, to Cuttyhunk for $5,000. The truck made the journey to the small island in the Elizabeth Island Chain last week.

Selectmen also reviewed draft leases for the Menemsha Pond lots. The town has six lots with 10-year leases that are used by residents of Chilmark and Aquinnah for personal docks, ramps and storage. The original rent structure was set up in 1994 and revised through a verbal agreement in June 2009. No formal document was ever created. Mr. Newman said he didn’t want to wait until June 2019 to formalize the agreement. “We’re not going to do anything different,” he assured the four leaseholders who attended the meeting. “We just want to abide by what was originally established when these lots were in fact established.” A final lease agreement will be voted on in January.

In other business, selectmen voted to close the commercial scalloping season until further notice, on recommendation from the shellfish committee. Only family scalloping will be allowed this season due to an abundance of seed and lack of adult scallops. The Herring Creek side of the Menemsha Pond will be open for skip dredging of quahaugs.

The selectmen also approved a code of conduct for themselves. Recommended by the Massachusetts Municipal Assocation, the code includes guidelines for how selectmen interact with their community, town administrator, fellow board members and town employees.

“It was a long time coming,” Mr. Newman said.