I am the moderator of the Federated Church and would like to thank the Edgartown fire and police departments for their prompt attention to a potentially dangerous situation that arose in our church recently. While the Martha’s Vineyard Museum was preparing for their annual meeting in our Meetinghouse late Monday afternoon, the fire alarms went off. The Edgartown police and fire personnel showed up promptly to assess the situation and make sure there was no fire hazard. The fire personnel inspected every corner of the Meetinghouse and Parish House and found nothing amiss. They reset the alarm and the museum meeting proceeded. But around 7:30 p.m., the fire alarm again went off. A patrolman happening by stopped and asked if we had called 911. We had. He stayed until the fire personnel arrived and again assessed the situation. Identifying a faulty sensor way, way, way up on the ceiling, the fire personnel, without batting an eye, got a ladder in place and then scaled it to retrieve the faulty sensor which contained a dead bug. Anyone who has been in the Federated Meetinghouse knows how very high the ceiling is, about 40 feet or so, Even from the balcony, the ceiling is 15 to 20 feet away. The firemen set up the ladder and scaled it without hesitation. When the sensor had been inspected, they reset the alarm system and departed.

As is the case with many of the old, historic buildings in Edgartown, fire is a constant threat. Our buildings have smoke carbon monoxide sensors and a maintained alarm system. The prompt response of the police and firemen to our building was very reassuring. Their assessment and decision to remove the defective sensor so that further alarms would not occur was very much appreciated. I am sure they provide the same timely and excellent service to all Edgartown inhabitants, but on behalf of the Federated Church, I would like to thank the police and fire departments for their prompt attention and professional services.

Jim Butterick

Oak Bluffs