BURRILLVILLE – Four employees of the Oakland Mapleville Fire District received promotions last week, filling vacancies left by the retirement of two former captains.

Before his recent retirement, Capt. Troy Phillips worked for the village district for more than three decades, and was in charge of department training. A Braintree, Mass. native, Phillips has also served as an adjunct instructor for the Rhode Island Fire Academy.

Former Capt. Michael Mcgrane’s position, meanwhile, has been vacant since his retirement in 2018.

It seems the departure of the department leaders created an opportunity for upward mobility for some senior staff members. Last week, Lts. Richard Jalette and Colin Fenner were both promoted to captain to fill the vacancies. Jalette was previously the district’s fourth in command, and Fenner holds the title of EMS coordinator and is one of two paramedics on the staff.

To fill one of those now vacant lieutenant spots, Asst. Engineer Ryan Cook was tapped.

And firefighter Brandon Lapierre was promoted to Cook’s old position of assistant engineer.

“All of these men are highly trained and qualified firefighter/EMTs,” said OMFD Chief Joseph Bertholic of the promotions.

The district, which encompasses an area of roughly 13 square miles with a resident population of around 4,400, has also served the village of Nasonville since residents voted to dissolve that department last year. It is staffed by two per diem firefighters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is augmented by volunteer firefighter/EMT’s as needed.

The district is governed by an elected operating committee, which scheduled an emergency meeting held in executive session on Thursday, Dec. 3. According to the agenda, the committee discussed Bertholic’s job performance at the request of four board members.

Bertholic told NRI NOW he did not know the reason for the emergency meeting, and Committee Chairman Robert L’Esperance did not return a call for comment.

NRI NOW has asked for information regarding any votes taken at the meeting and will provide updates if they become available.

On top are Capt. Colin Fenner and Capt. Richard Jalette, Bottom are Lt. Ryan Cook and Asst. Engineer Brandon Lapierre.
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