Former Lancaster ﬁreﬁghter Sean Whitney protested voters decision to deny survivor beneﬁts to a ﬁreﬁghters family. (AP Photo)
The Boston Globe
By Peter Schworm, Globe Staff
November 9, 2004
LANCASTER — Reeling from the bitter aftermath of the town’s vote to deny survivor benefits to the family of a fallen volunteer firefighter, residents, elected officials, and firefighter advocates met last night to discuss ways to compensate the widow and three young daughters of Martin H. McNamara V, who died battling a house fire last November. Selectmen in this town of roughly 7,000 called the meeting after voters narrowly rejected a ballot measure to provide health insurance and establish a $650,000 pension for the McNamaras, who live in neighboring Clinton. In an emotionally taut, nearly three-hour meeting at a local elementary school, the Board of Selectmen voted to establish a task force to explore ways to provide the McNamaras health insurance and a state-funded pension, and to advance legislation to give survivor pensions to volunteer firefighters who die in the line of duty.
”Any community with a call firefighter department could find themselves in our position,” said selectman David Dunn. ”We have a duty to protect those who are protecting us.”