Rockport Fire Department to purchase extrication equipment
Rockport — Since the disbanding of Camden First Aid Association, Rockport Fire Department has relied on mutual aid assistance from Camden or Rockland fire departments for vehicle crashes requiring extrication equipment.
However, Rockport soon will have its own extrication equipment. Fire Chief Jason Peasley got the go-ahead from Town Manager Richard Bates to purchase equipment that will enable trained personnel to extricate victims of a car crash.
The Holmatro brand extrication equipment the department anticipates purchasing is the same brand recently acquired by Camden Fire Department and is also used by Rockland.
The money to purchase the equipment will come from a surplus in the emergency medical service line of the current budget.The town budgeted $48,000 to fund emergency medical services, of which only $12,000 was used to contract with North East Mobile Health Services. The cost of the basic extrication package is $30,000, according to Peasley.
Bates and Peasley informed the select board of the plan to purchase the equipment Sept. 9 during a regular meeting.
“Since it is a surplus in the current budget line, technically this doesn’t need to come to the board, but because of the large dollar amount we felt compelled to be upfront and inform everyone of what is going on,” Bates said.
Peasley said he felt continued reliance on aid from Rockland and Camden could worsen an emergency situation if the equipment is needed in Rockport but is being used in those towns for an emergency.
“Ultimately we can’t rely on Camden or Rockland for mutual aid due to the call volume in Rockport,” Peasley said, noting a high number of crashes in recent months.
There are seven members of the department already trained on the equipment that is similar to that being purchased and there are another 13 ready to be trained, Peasley said. Training on the equipment is provided by the vendor at no charge following a purchase, he said.
The equipment will temporarily be housed at the fire station on Main Street, but a permanent home at West Rockport Fire Station is the most likely option because a majority of crashes requiring the specialized equipment happen within a 3-mile radius, according to the fire chief.
Since Peasley took over leadership of the department earlier this year, he said he has applied for five separate grants and received $40,000 to help bring the department up to Bureau of Labor standards. The department received a $15,000 grant to replace some hoses and a $25,000 grant to replace turnout gear, helmets and fire gloves, he said.
Courier Publications reporter Dwight Collins can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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