Vermont community reconsiders rules after mask-less parade

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont community is reviewing its requirements for parade permits after members of the town fire department held a parade to commemorate the 9/11 attacks without masks.

Acting Bellows Falls Municipal Manager Charles “Chuck” Wise said he “foolishly” assumed people would be wearing masks when he issued the permit granted so the Westminster Fire Department could walk 3.43 miles through the community to commemorate the 343 New York firefighters killed in the 2001 attack.

“On Aug. 31st, I issued a permit to Westminster Fire to walk 3.43 miles in full gear to include air packs,” Wise told the Brattleboro Reformer. “It never occurred to me to request masks.”

Wise said when he got to Bellows Falls the morning of Sept. 12 to watch the walk, none of the firefighters were wearing masks.

“We have had internal discussions about requiring masks when issuing parade permits and will adapt,” he said.

There was no answer Monday at a non-emergency number for the Westminster Fire Department.