Madison Hose Co. No. 1's biggest fundraiser of the year, the Fireman's Ball, had to be cancelled this year after Tropical Storm Irene damaged the waterfront venue and left no one in the mood to party. The volunteers from Madison Hose Co. No. 1 were too busy helping the town put itself back together and so the event was called off.
Some donors still came through, however, and the members of wanted to say thank you and to show you what they purchased with those funds.
They decided to purchase a Paratech Vehicle Stabilization Kit, one that can be used to stabilize vehicles that have crashed or flipped over while emergency responders try to treat and extricate the victims inside.
The kit includes struts, strut extenders, hinged bases with anchor clips, ratchet belts with finger hooks, and tie-down keys with J hooks. The new equipment will supplement the fire company's existing equipment, which includes wooden supports that can be propped up under the vehicles to further stabilize it.
The members of the fire company recently took their new tools out for a test run at the town dump and they say they are very happy with their new equipment.
Firefighter Jesse Gulick said the initial training went well.
"Stabilization makes the scene safer to operate for all responders and for patients who maybe still inside," Gulick said. "This purchase helps our department become more efficient, safer and provide better service to the town."
Gulick said the purchase of this particular equipment was a high priority because the company responds to so many accidents where cars are flipped over or otherwise in a precarious situation. The company often responds to incidents on I-95 where this equipment will come in handy.
"We have a lot of stuff going on, on the highway, where cars are flipped over and this equipment is very versatile in situations where we will be able to use it," Gulick said. "We can stabilize the car in whatever position we may find it in, and we can access the patients better, without the car flipping over. We can use the Jaws of Life in a more stable environment."
Gulick said the fire company has other high priorities on its list, including new air packs for the firefighters to replace the ones that are aging.
"They are getting old and we are looking to replace those, and we have a couple of other things in mind," he said.
Gulick said he would let us know when the fire company has its next fundraiser. But if you just can't wait, donations are welcome anytime. To find out more, or to find out how you can support the volunteer operation, you can write Madison Hose Co. No. 1, PO Box 573, Madison, CT 06443.