National Grid will soon begin a project to identify and replace certain gas regulators within Billerica. Gas regulators are pieces of equipment that are located on customer property, but are owned and maintained by National Grid. Regulators are usually located outdoors near the gas meter, but in some cases, they are inside. Their function is to ensure gas is delivered to homes and small businesses at the appropriate pressure. National Grid’s number one priority is the safety and reliability of our networks.
Phase I of the project consists of identifying all regulators that need to be replaced. Premier Utility Services working on National Grid’s behalf will be working in certain neighborhoods to examine the gas regulators at each home and business. All contractors (Premier Utility Services) working on National Grid’s behalf carry photo identification, wear Hi Vis traffic safety vest, orange hardhat with Premier logo, and they will not enter any homes without the homeowner’s permission. If a customer’s regulator needs to be replaced, the contractor (Premier Utility Services) will simply leave a tag on the regulator to indicate that replacement is warranted. The existing regulators are completely safe – receiving a tag on a regulator is not a cause for concern. This phase of the project is expected to continue through April 1, 2015.
- Hours of Operation
- Monday – Saturday (8AM-8PM)
- Sunday (8AM-4PM)
During this festive time of year, with the holiday parties and other occasions, many people will be drinking, and the likelihood of impaired driving increases along with drunk-driving related fatalities. Billerica Police will join the 191 eligible local law enforcement agencies and the MA State Police running extra patrols through the New Year as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization. This campaign is funded by a federal grant administered through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD).
“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Chief Dan Rosa. “Drunk driving isn’t a victimless crime. You could kill yourself or someone else.”
The facts are grim. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2012 in Massachusetts, 123 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nationally, in December of 2012, there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver with a BAC of .08 or higher. 26 of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day.
As part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, police will increase patrols, conduct sobriety checkpoints, and conduct public outreach through local media with hopes of delivering their life saving message to drivers. If you’re drinking and driving, Billerica police will find and arrest you. No warnings, no excuses. You’ll face jail time, fines, loss of your driver’s license, towing fees, and other OUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average.
Billerica Police suggests anyone drinking should designate a sober driver ahead of time, call a friend or family member, use public transportation, or call a taxi. The alternatives are all far less expensive than the $10,000 cost of being caught and charged with OUI or taking someone’s life.
“We can’t stand to see this tragic loss of life again and again,” added Chief Rosa. “It’s heartbreaking to drive up to a house all decorated for the holidays, and knock on the door to deliver terrible news. So leading up to the holidays, we are really cracking down, and we will show zero tolerance for drunk drivers on the road.”
In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Chief Rosa is calling on everyone to be alert. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely.
Recently some questions have come up about the operation of the Town of Billerica Ambulance Service so I thought I would provide an overview of the current operations and an evolution over the last 30 or so years since it has been in existence. The service has 12 full time Paramedics and in fiscal year 2013 the service transported over 2100 people to area hospitals for treatment.
Billerica EMS is the primary 911 service for Advanced Life Support (ALS) and ambulance transport for the Town of Billerica. The service was created over 30 years ago by the Town Administration and Town Meeting. At that time the service provided one ambulance 24 hours 7 days per week with an EMT Intermediate level service. Since that time the service evolved into an ALS level service staffed by Paramedic level trained staff only. Several years ago the service hours expanded with a second ALS unit being added 12 hours a day to handle an increasing call volume in the town.
Many other area communities run Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulance’s staffed by basic level EMT’s and use intercept support from private or hospital based ALS Paramedics in order to provide the level of service that Billerica EMS provides. Many of these area services are considering or in the process of upgrading to the ALS level of service where Billerica has already been for years. This is in part due to the added response time for ALS to arrive on scene in critical situations. Other area communities have private contracts for primary 911 ambulance transport and ALS services.
All area communities including Billerica charge for the service, either through a billing service. Billerica EMS uses a company called Comstar. Private ambulance services and or ALS providers bill directly. In the case of private services and ALS providers, it has been my experience that Billerica EMS rates are far less than those charged by privates and are comparable or competitive with that of other municipal services.
The arrangement with the billing service has been in place for several years and the company has been very accommodating to residents who call for information. The primary source of reimbursement to the town for this service comes from private medical insurers, Medicare and Medicaid.
Residents who have questions, concerns or problems with the billing/reimbursement process can also call the Billerica Police Department and ask for Ambulance billing and we would be happy to assist or provide information. In the case of residents with financial difficulty or inadequate medical insurance there is a process in place for town residents, please call and we can assist you in that process.
Please remember that in an emergency 911 is the primary number to call for Police, Fire and EMS response. The business number for the Billerica Police Department is 671-0900 and “Ambulance Billing” is an option from our auto attendant. Additional information can be found in the Town Report posted yearly on the Town Web Site.
Thank you and Have a safe Holiday Season,
Chief Dan Rosa
Tonight at approximately 4:54 PM, the Billerica Police Department received a call for a Pedestrian Accident. The accident was reported to be in the area of 252 Salem Road. Initial reports were that there was a woman struck by a SUV and that although she was breathing, she was unconscious. Arriving units found the victim to have sustained life threatening injuries and was subsequently transported by Billerica EMS to the hospital where she died.
The operator of the SUV immediately pulled over after the accident occurred and is cooperating with investigators. At this time there is no indication to suspect any drug or alcohol involvement as a contributing factor to the accident.
The Mass State Police accident reconstruction team responded to the scene and is assisting in the investigation, along with the Middlesex District Attorney’s office and the Billerica Police. The name of the parties involved are being withheld pending notification to the family.
Update of Fatal Accident that occurred on Route 129 in Billerica on November 29, 2014
The Billerica Police are releasing the identity of the victim that was struck in the vicinity of 251 Salem Road in Billerica at approximately 5pm on November 29, 2014. The victim is identified as Alexandrina Petro, 85, of Billerica. The accident is being investigated by the Billerica Police and the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit. Any additional questions should be directed to Middlesex DA Press Officer, Marybeth Long, 781-897-8325