North Lakes Fire and Rescue receives King Foundation grant to buy life-saving equipment

CROSS LAKE, Maine — The North Lakes Fire and Rescue department has received a $20,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to purchase new hydraulic rescue tools.

“The hydraulic tools we are purchasing can be used for many things such as car accidents, forcible entry and urban rescue. They are primarily used for car accidents,” said Fire Chief Darren Woods.

The department has 43 volunteer firefighters who cover Sinclair, Cross Lake, Square Lake, Madawaska Lake and Westmanland. 

The cutting tools the firefighters most recently worked with are more than 30 years old, according to Woods. 

North Lakes Fire and Rescue Chief Darren Woods, left, talks with North Lakes Captain Josh Belanger, May 17, 2017, during a training exercise at the department’s Cross Lake station.
(Contributed photo)

“North Lakes Fire and Rescue has recently had to take two cutting tools out of service because they pose a risk to both responders and victims when used to dismantle current vehicle construction, so this funding came in at just the right time,” Woods said. 

“Without the tools, the extrication would have to be done with hand tools, creating a significant delay in patient care. The other option would be to call for aid from another community, which could also cause a significant delay.”

“While we are glad that these tools are not used daily in our area, when they are needed, it is life threatening and the extrication must be rapid,” added Woods. 

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.