In a hastily called emergency session, Oak Bluffs selectmen met Saturday with approximately 35 members of the Oak Bluffs fire and EMT staff, one day after the announcement that fire chief John Rose would resign his post.

Selectman Brian Packish at Jan. 14 meeting, one of many called to address fire department issues in recent weeks. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Speaking to the Gazette by phone Sunday, board chairman Brian Packish said the meeting was called to give members of the department the opportunity to speak with the board.

“We had a meeting with the command staff just to meet with them face to face, and answer any questions, concerns, talk about what the future might look like, things of that nature,” Mr. Packish said.

“We just figured under the circumstances that we didn’t want those guys to not have any information or an audience directly with us.”

The emergency meeting was posted at 3:15 Friday afternoon, according to a notice attached to the town hall door. The agenda listed “discussion of the fire department” as its only item. The meeting was not posted online.

Notice of emergency meeting was posted at the town hall Friday afternoon, but not online. — Noah Asimow

Mr. Packish said the meeting lasted between 45 minutes and an hour. Chief Rose was not present, he said.

He said all five selectmen attended the meeting, along with town administrator Bob Whritenour. According to Mr. Packish, command staff and volunteers within the department asked questions about the future.

“There was no real action taken at this point and time,” Mr. Packish said. “It was more just an opportunity to put the board and the command staff in one room and to reconnect, reset, and begin a new conversation about what the future is.”

He said the meeting was intended to offer a relief valve to a department that has been under intense scrutiny for weeks.

“It’s been a pressure cooker,” he said.

Chief Rose will resign effective April 30, according to the announcement that went out Friday afternoon.

Mr. Packish was vague about whether Chief Rose has actually returned to work, referring only to the Friday press statement that went out.

“His resignation is his resignation,” the selectman said. “It’s one of those situations where it just plays out the way it plays out. He’s available to help with the transition and things of that nature.”