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Town of Webster Rescue Squad
Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 11:04:38 PM
Hello and welcome to the Webster Mass. Rescue Squad web site. My name is Chris W. Jolda and I am chief of the department. I wish to give you some background of our department, how it was formed and what our duties are. The rescue squad was formed in the 1950s under the civil defense. At that time, civil defense agencies were being trained in some rescue procedures, mainly shoring, tunneling, moving heavy loads with block and tackle and things of that nature. In 1957 the department got its first truck ( see photo gallery ) and began responding to fires and vehicle accidents. All of this was done by volunteers at no charge to the Town. This was the beginning of the rescue squad as we know it today.
Through the years the rescue squad had several converted vehicles and through the hard work of many dedicated individuals their training and equipment began to progress. The goal of all of their hard work was to provide rescue service to the Town of Webster "second to none". That goal remains today.
In 1972, the town meeting voted to replace 2 of the 3 trucks that were in service with a new heavy rescue truck ( see photo gallery). The truck was built by Providence Body Co. for $29,000.00. I joined the department in 1975, so I can provide you with more detail now. Our duties included extrication from crashed vehicles, extrication from machinery and fire fighting support. Today we also respond to haz-mat, high and low angle rope rescue, water and ice rescue ( SCUBA team), confined space rescue, trench and collapse rescue, rapid intervention team ( firefighter rescue), and many other types of emergencies that require search skills or rescue expertise.
In 1979 after a fatal crash, the local Elks club sponsored a fund drive and purchased our first hydraulic rescue tool. The "Lukas" spreader, cutter and power supply were purchased for $8,200.00. This equipment, with proper training cut the time of extrication in half. It was the first of several fund drives to purchase advanced and specialized rescue equipment and is still in service today.
Some of the other major equipment purchases are as follows:
1983, the local Rotary club sponsored a fund drive that purchased a set of Maxiforce Air bags.
1987, The Lions club donated hydraulic rams and a combi-tool to compliment our "Lukas" hydraulic tools.
1990, The Rotary club sponsored fund drive purchased a Hovercraft for water and ice rescue.
1992, The Lions club donated dry SCUBA suits with full face masks and underwater communications gear.
2000, We received a donation of a thermal imaging camera from the Webster Ambulance Squad before becoming Webster EMS.
In addition to these major fund raisers, the members of the squad also ran our smaller annual fund raisers such as our flower sales to purchase smaller equipment. I mention this so that the people of our town will realize that in addition to our duties and our training's, we have tried through the years to fund as much equipment as possible without putting any additional burden on the tax payer.
The people of the town have always supported us through the town meetings with the largest purchase coming in 1995. Our 1972 rescue truck was replaced with a new E-ONE heavy rescue truck at a cost of $316,200.00. It was delivered in May of 1995 and was the culmination of a design and funding process that took about 6 years.
The rescue squad trains on a weekly basis, every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 9:30 at Fire Headquarters. Many of the members also take additional courses through the Mass Fire Academy, Barnstable Fire Training School and through rescue equipment manufacturers. The training is an ongoing process that never ends. This allows us to be better prepared for the myriad of emergencies that we may face.
In closing, I wish to thank all of the people, businesses and organizations that support us. Especially the families of our dedicated members that have often times had to be without their loved ones that were gone to face the danger of our duties.
Thank you for visiting!!
Be Sure to check out our official site listed above.
Chris W. Jolda
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