Selectmen Approve Purchase Of Responder Vehicle, Jaws Of Life For NoMad Fire

Request for special appropriation now goes to Board of Finance.


The Board of Selectmen approved two requests from the Monday, one to replace a medical responder vehicle, and another to replace a hydraulic spreader, also known as "Jaws of Life."

The medical responder vehicle will cost no more than $50,000 and the spreader will cost no more than $7,700.

NMVFC Deputy Chief Don MacMillan and Chief Brian Koczak told the board at its meeting Monday morning that the current medical responder vehicle is a 1990 GMC Sierra. The rescue truck, designated as 10-95, initially carried all of the department's heavy rescue equipment used when it responded to motor vehicle accidents and other rescue efforts. "Our services outgrew this small apparatus and a heavy rescue (10-96) was added to our operation in 2005. Unit 10-95 was retained in service as the vehicle that responds principally to EMS calls."

10-95 currently carries all of the Emergency Management Services supplies and equipment, along with a generator, the Jaws of life, basic firefighting tools, and fire extinguishers.

The truck is one of the most frequently used vehicles, "clocking more hours on the engine than the rest of the Fire Company's other appartus combined." The NMVFC plans to replace it with a Tahoe or Expedition, "with a slide out storage rack in the back for EMS equipment and backboards, forcible entry equipment, and emergency lighting/radio package." The vehicle is expected to cost between $30,000 and $36,000, the slideout rack between $3,500 and $4,500, and the radios and lights between $8,000 and $9,500.

The department decided to replace the Jaws of Life when the current apparatus was recently serviced and found to be lacking in current specifications when it came to pressure tests. "On further examination by the technician, it was determined that deep scoring on the cylinder wall is the cause of failure of the tool," the fire company said in a written report to the selectmen. The damage occurred as a part of normal wear and tear. "The tool is well used and was purchased 22 years ago in 1990."

"The technology of newer cars has outgrown the capability of our current spreader," the fire company said. "For this reason, it would not be cost effective to repair an outdated piece of equipment at such a high cost."

The Defender Spreader the department would like to buy costs $7,065, after the department gets a discount. A bracket to hold it is expected to cost $600.

The Board of Finance will consider this request at their meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at town campus.

Matt February 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Finally an article about our tax dollars funding something useful and actually needed! Glad it was approved, long time coming!


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