Chief deserves praise


To the Editor:

I would like to take the time to honor and thank Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer. He is a wonderful human being, and certainly good at his job.

Back in January, I was 10 days post-op from shoulder surgery and sleeping in a reclining chair in our living room. Needless to say, getting into a comfortable position to successfully fall asleep was no easy task. I had just done so when much to my dismay, I heard the annoying chirp of a smoke detector battery going off. It got louder and more frequent, so I lumbered out of the chair and into our downstairs bedroom to alert my husband, who was sleeping soundly. He removed the battery that he thought was the culprit, but that did not alleviate the problem. “Chirp,” “beep,” “evacuate, evacuate” went the cacophony, until I finally said, “We need to call the fire department.”

First to arrive were two nice Edgartown Police officers who also need to be thanked. They subsequently called Chief Schaeffer, and Alex arrived on scene about 2:45 am, and immediately worked to remedy the problem. I heard him tell the others, “As soon as I heard the address, I swung by the station and picked up extra batteries.” HA! He was absolutely correct, he had been at this address for the exact same issue two other times in the past five years! It took awhile for him to locate the faulty battery, but as soon as he did, silence ensued. We got a gentle reminder to “change all the batteries at the same time next year.”

As I drifted back to sleep after everyone had left, I thought to myself, This is why I love living here in a small town on an Island. A fire chief who remembers your address, who shows up completely equipped to take care of a situation that he must obviously find irritating, yet he never made us feel ashamed.

Well-deserved praise is only a small token of our appreciation. He is a tremendous asset to this town.


Nancy and Ken Monahan