Harrisville Fire Committee dedicates conference room to the late Donald Mehrtens

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BURRILLVILLE – The Harrisville Fire District Operating Committee honored a former member and chairman Tuesday night, dedicating their meeting room in his name.

Donald Mehrtens became a committee member of the district in 1992, and was chairman of the board from 1995 to 2010.

A Burrillville resident for 53 years, Mehrtens was an active member of the community, participating in both government and charitable clubs. A member of the Pascoag Knights of Columbus for 49 years, Mehrtens was also on the Burrillville Republican Town Committee. He was also a member of the Burrillville Lions Club for 17 years, serving as treasurer for 14.

Mehrtens was also involved in the town’s Emergency Management Agency, serving as director for 13 years.

But it was he work with Harrisville Fire District that prompted the dedication on Tuesday, Jan. 8, before friends and family at the committee’s monthly meeting at the station at 115 Central St. in Harrisville.

Ronald Slocum, chairman of the Harrisville Fire District Operating Committee, shows off the plaque dedicating the district’s meeting room to former chairman Donald Mehrtens.

“He was chairman of the Harrisville Fire District for 15 years and was instrumental in overseeing many improvements to both the fire department and water department, seeing improvements in our tanks, lines and wells,” said current district Chairman Ronald Slocum. “He was instrumental in the new addition and updating this building.”

A plaque dubbing the space the “Donald C. Mehrtens Meeting Room,” will be hung in the structure.

Attending the dedication were Mehrtens’ sons, Thomas and John Mertens, along with their families, and wife Patricia Mehrtens, who is the town historian. His daughter,  Donna (Mehrtens) Ghirardello, currently lives in Sandrigo, Italy, and was unable to attend.

Mehrtens died in September of 2010.

The family of the late Donald Mehrtens, chairman of the Harrisville Fire District Operating Committee, attends a ceremony dedicating the district’s meeting room in his honor. From left are Mehrtens’ granddaughter Alanna Mehrtens, son Tom Mehrtens with his wife Shannon Mehrtens, district Chairman Ronald Slocum, and son John Mehrtens. At center holding the plaque is his wife, Patricia Mehrtens.
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