EAST KINGSTON – Chief Ed Warren and the East Kingston Fire Department welcomed Gov. Chris Sununu on Tuesday, thanking him for helping obtain critical federal funding for new equipment.
The Department received $50,000 from the Locality Equipment Purchase Program, overseen by the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery. The purchase program was developed to disburse American Rescue Plan funding to the state.
Qualifying public safety departments had to match their grant with 10 percent funding. The East Kingston Department allocated $5,000, and purchased a power lifter and automated chest compression system which have been in use for three months.
Chief Warren approached Gov. Sununu last year and suggested that federal aid could support smaller public safety departments with equipment needs.
“He took the ball and ran with it,” Chief Warren said.
Gov. Sununu and Chief Warren spoke numerous times to develop the Program, which still required approval from the federal government. Chief Warren lauded Gov. Sununu and his team for working diligently to bring the Program to fruition.
Automating tasks means fewer human responders may be needed, which is especially important in a small department that relies heavily on on-call personnel.
“These are truly life-saving tools and equipment,” Chief Warren said. “We couldn’t be more thankful.”
Gov. Sununu credited Chief Warren for approaching him with the idea, and for being a strong advocate throughout the approval process.
Gov. Sununu tested the automated lift, which can assist in loading up to 870 pounds into an ambulance.
“That’s super easy,” Gov. Sununu told firefighters.
Firefighter/EMT Laurie McCarter demonstrated the Lucas Stryker compression system, which assists first responders in providing critical care on the way to the hospital.
About 35 people attended the event at the East Kingston Fire Station, including state Commissioner of Safety Robert Quinn; Justin Cutting, Director, New Hampshire Fire Academy & Emergency Medical Services; Governor’s Councilor Janet Stevens; Board of Selectmen Chairman Joe Cacciatore; and Selectmen Robert Caron and Robert Nigrello.