DUDLEY - Nichols College President Susan West Engelkemeyer and Tom Cafarro visited Dudley Fire Chief Dean Kochanowski and several members of the Dudley Board of Selectmen at Dudley Fire Headquarters last Wednesday to donate a timely piece of life-saving equipment to local firefighters.
Every year, horror stories make their way into the headlines about people who venture out onto unsafe ice only to fall through, jeopardizing their lives and the lives of others who attempt to rescue them from imminent drowning. Enter the Town of Dudley’s good neighbor, Nichols College.
Nichols College decided to help the local fire department better prepare themselves for the eventuality of a surface ice rescue by purchasing one of the staples of ice rescue equipment, the “Rescue Alive” ice rescue sled. The donation also included two 300’ ice rescue ropes that will be used in conjunction with the operation of the sled. The donation totaled about $3300.
The Rescue Alive sled allows rescuers to quickly move along thin ice and get to a victim who has gone through the ice. Even if the rescuer should break through thin ice while making his way to a victim, the firefighter can stand on both large pontoons of the sled and paddle across the open water until he can transition back onto solid ice. It’s an invaluable tool which speeds up a rescue of a victim through the ice, who literally has only minutes to be rescued before succumbing to the effects of hypothermia.
On hand to accept the donation for the town was Chairman of the Dudley Board of Selectmen Jonathan Ruda who stated, “It isn't just hyperbole when the Board of Selectmen says it is committed to increasing the capability and level of response that the Dudley Fire Department can deliver to the community. The generous donation of the funds necessary to buy this state of the art ice rescue craft made by Nichols College will measurably increase the odds of saving the life of a person who has fallen through the ice. Congratulations to Chief Kochanowski for establishing a good rapport with Nichols and pursuing a thoughtful solution to offset the equipment needs of his department."