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Rescue Boggan 
donated to 
Millinocket Fire Department

Rescue Boggan Millinocket - Emergency services for snowmobile accidents in the Katahdin area took a step forward on the evening of January 9th. Acting Fire Chief for the Millinocket Fire Department Wayne Campbell accepted a new Rescue Boggan that will provide emergency transportation for people injured in a snowmobile accident. The rescue sled was donated to the Millinocket Fire Department from the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club and the Pioneer Hose Company. Campbell took possession of the new rescue boggan on behalf of Millinocket from Jim Moore, president of the Northern Timber Cruisers and Larry MacArthur, president of the Pioneer Hose Company during the 345th executive directors meeting of the Maine Snowmobile Association. The meeting was held at the Northern Timber Cruisers snowmobile clubhouse. The rescue boggan was purchased through the Maine Snowmobile Association with funding from these two organizations.

      As the snowmobiling season approached the area and with continuing budget limitations in mind, acting Chief Campbell needed to find a way to improve upon emergency rescue services for snowmobile accidents in the area without having the necessary funding available. Campbell knew that with more and more people coming to take advantage of snowmobiling in the Katahdin area that the influx of machines on the trails means the likeliness of more snowmobile accidents is evident. An accident involving multiple machines means multiple patients. Although already in possession of a rescue sled donated many years ago by snowmobile enthusiast Bob Robinson, new technology has produced equipment that is more advanced and more flexible to use. Robinson donated a sled years ago that he had specially made for the town after a wintertime rescue attempt of a young boy drew attention to the fact such a sled was needed in the area. Acknowledging that there was no money available in his budget for the purchase of this type of equipment, Campbell applied for funding under a 50/50 program to purchase the rescue boggen from MSA that would have cut the $820.00 total cost of the sled in half. The Northern Timber Cruisers, upon learning of the purchase, agreed to pay for the remaining portion of the sled with funds they received from a statewide snowmobile raffle sponsored by MSA.

      Jim Moore, president of the local snow club also realized the urgency to have one of the new types of sleds available to the area. "After speaking with Wayne one day about his plans to acquire a new rescue sled, I approached the members of the club at a regular meeting and asked what they thought of helping the fire department fund this purchase. There were no questions asked and the money was approved immediately," Moore said, adding that everyone in the club knew the importance of such a sled.

      Upon receiving notification from the MSA that the department would not qualify for one of the four rescue boggans due to the fact that Millinocket already had a rescue sled and that there were other communities without one, the Pioneer Hose Company stepped forward to help with the purchase. Larry MacArthur, president of the Pioneer Hose Company, stated that "although the Pioneer Hose Company #1 is a fire fighting organization we have members that do snowmobile and that some of these members are EMTs for Millinocket's ambulance service. We all felt that with the budget constraints of the Town of Millinocket that this was a needed piece of equipment. The area is growing in tourism and this brings more people to enjoy what we have to offer to snowmobilers. We all believe that this piece of equipment is an update for the department, and that's why we chose to help fund this project with the Northern Timber Cruisers. There was no question on its value and importance to give the highest quality of service to the community and to the visitors to this area when needed. Hopefully, it will be a piece of equipment that will never be put to use".

      The Equinox Rescue Boggan is manufactured in Winnipeg, Manitoba and shipped from Ontario, Canada. It is of an all molded plastic design with three 2-inch wear bars that allow the unit to ride directly on the snow. The sled is 96 inches in length and 35 inches in width. It weighs just 130 pounds and has a maximum load capacity of 1,200 lbs. The front hood and combination rear attendant bench and storage area removable allowing easy access to the patient area. The all poly bottom combined with its light weight (130 pounds) and low profile design (28 inches high) will help make for easier towing Campbell added. Tom Seymor, Executive Vice President and Safety Director of the MSA indicated the biggest expense for the rescue sled is the shipping costs from Canada.

      The MSA's Rescue Sled program will be placing at least sixteen new Equinox Rescue Boggans across the state this season. According to Seymour, "We've been overwhelmed by the support this program is getting from our clubs and other organizations. This is certainly an indication of the club's commitment to safety and service to their communities". The purchases this season brings the Rescue Boggan fleet in Maine to 28 over the past two seasons. Over 30 applications were received from clubs for the four Rescue Boggans that were awarded to clubs in each region under the 50/50 program that was started last year. Following the announcement of the clubs that were awarded sleds, additional clubs and organizations committed quickly to purchasing sleds on their own. An added incentive this year was a favorable exchange rate, lowering the cost of the Canadian-made units to $820 this year.

      The MSA has been keeping a database listing the locations of the sleds and is sharing the information with the Warden Service and search and rescue groups. Most sleds are available at a moment's notice 24 hours a day.

      Campbell addressed the 60 or so people attending the meeting and thanked both organizations for helping to fund the project. In closing the night out Campbell added, "My wish is to have two of these sleds in the event of an accident involving multiple patients. Our rescue snowmobile is capable of pulling two of these sleds together at once therefore eliminating having to leave an injured person on the snow or ice. This would prevent us from having to make a second trip to go back and get that person. But at this point, it is only wishful thinking". "Hopefully we will never have to take the rescue sled off the trailer," he added indicating he hoped the snowmobile season would be accident free.
 

Rescue Boggan 


 

 

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