Fire protection district gets new equipment

Thanks to a grant by the city of Dickinson, the New England Rural Fire Protection District has a new piece of safety equipment.

The three-stage Hurst rescue ram, or jaws of life, was purchased by the New England Rural Fire Protection District in April after being awarded a grant from Dickinson. (Courtesy Photo)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

Thanks to a grant by the city of Dickinson, the New England Rural Fire Protection District has a new piece of safety equipment.

The Southwest Regional grant, which is derived from overflow tax money to distribute to the area surrounding Dickinson, was for $5,000 and allowed the district to purchase a three-stage Hurst rescue ram, or a device also known as the jaws of life.

Fire Chief Joe Kathrein went to the city of Dickinson in April 2016 to apply for the funds. Shortly after he was notified that his department had be chosen, they purchased the device.

The device assists rescuers in the extrication of victims trapped in vehicles.

“It’s to spread a vehicle that’s crushed so that we can get a victim out of the vehicle,” Kathrein said.

Though they have had the device for the better part of the past 12 months, Kathrein said it hasn’t been used much, which is a good thing.

“We haven’t got to use it yet much because we’ve been blessed with very few rescue calls,” he said.

The unit cost was $5,800, and Kathrein said that his department used other funds to support the difference in price.

The rescue district follows the area’s ambulance district, which covers roughly 700 square miles.

“It’s way more than our fire district, so the rescue squad follows the ambulance service,” Kathrein said.

Kathrein added that the department has been lucky to be chosen for every grant they have applied for, which assists the department—made up of county volunteers—in purchasing necessary equipment to better serve the service area.

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