Thanks to a substantial grant award by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the town of Beacon Falls, Beacon Hose will soon put into service new — and urgently needed — vehicle extrication equipment.
FEMA awarded to Beacon Falls on Jan. 6 an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in the amount of $64,463. With the town’s match of about $3,200, Beacon Hose will soon be able to acquire state-of-the-art spreaders, cutters, rams, and stabilization equipment.
A substantial portion of Beacon Hose’s emergency responses are for motor vehicle accidents on Route 8. It’s no secret that the stretch of highway that runs through our town is a frequent spot for accidents, and the new equipment will not only improve our emergency capabilities, but it will lessen our reliance on some equipment that has been in service for more than 30 years. Metro North’s Waterbury railroad line also runs through town.
Two weeks after the grant was awarded, Beacon Hose met with equipment vendors to begin the demo process before deciding on purchases.
We first welcomed Flash Fire Industries for a demonstration of Paratech stabilization struts and air bags — which can not only be used for vehicle stabilization but also shoring of building collapses and trench rescues. We then welcomed Northeastern Fire Associates to demonstrate TNT’s line of battery-powered hydraulic extrication equipment, including spreaders, cutters, and rams.
Beacon Hose has not yet settled on any purchases but will look to make those decisions in the near future.
“These tools will add to our current capabilities for remote extrication and portability,” Beacon Hose Assistant Chief Cal Brennan said. “With the Paratech kit, we can effectively stabilize and lift anything that’s legally able to be transported on the road or rails.”
Thanks to everyone on Beacon Falls’ end of things, including our Chief’s Office and Jamie Weid, as well as the town’s finance department, for making this happen after several years of being turned down!