An Independent Weekly Newspaper
New Fire Truck on the Way
by Barbara O’Brien The new fire truck approved by Windham voters last
March has been built at the Pennsylvania-based factory and since delivered to the “Bulldog” facility in Massachusetts to undergo final preparations, before it makes its trek to New Hampshire. Windham Fire Chief Tom McPherson said the truck
was finished earlier than anticipated. “It’s about a month ahead of time,” McPherson told selectmen during their board meeting on October 3. The earlier than expected completion of the new fire engine is a very good thing, though, McPherson emphasized. “We’ve been down a truck for some time and we need to get the new truck on- line, as soon as possible,” he said. The old fire truck, dubbed Engine #3, is about 20
years old and so is most of the equipment carried on the apparatus. In order to determine what types of equipment to acquire, a sub-committee comprised of several Windham firefighters spent numerous hours investigating viable alternatives, including a substantial amount of hands-on evaluations.
Bids for the equipment were solicited, resulting in six
vendors submitting proposals. The bid package solicited was very specific, McPherson said, so there wasn’t a lot of leeway in how many companies could provide the needed equipment. The six bids that were received were opened on September 29 with the assistance of Assistant Town Administrator and Financial Director Dana Call. Of the six bids that were received, various pieces of equipment were chosen from three of the vendors. The majority of the equipment to be purchased will come
from Industrial Protection Services (IPS) of Wilmington, Massachusetts. McPherson said that there are employees of IPS who reside in Windham. Other pieces of equipment will be obtained from Fire Tech and Safety of Chelmsford, Massachusetts and Harrison Shrader Enterprises of South Portland, Maine. The total to be spent on equipment to furnish the new fire engine amounts to $49,550.35. Money to equip the new vehicle is included in the $600,000 warrant article approved by voters last spring. Based on current bids and anticipated expenses, McPherson estimates that approximately $60,000 will be left over from the approved $600,000 appropriation, when all is said and done. The major portion of the discussion on October 3
revolved around the type of thermal imaging camera to be purchased, as well as the number of cameras to be bought. Selectman Roger Hohenberger was the most outspoken in regard to how many thermal-imaging cameras should be bought for fire department use. McPherson said there should be one in each of the department’s fire trucks, adding that this is the national standard. Currently, the fire department has two of the thermal imaging cameras, one that is eight years old, the other 10 years old; both of which are not holding a charge very well anymore. It is quite expensive to keep replacing the batteries for these decade-old cameras, Chief McPherson explained. The life expectancy for a thermal imaging camera is 10 to 15 years, he noted. Two additional cameras are included in the bid
package for new equipment. The new models offer better capabilities when it comes to finding problems in walls, such as hot spots, and are much more efficient at finding people in smoke-filled rooms. McPherson said it is important to have a thermal imaging camera on each truck as one of Windham’s trucks could be out of town on a mutual aid run when a fire breaks out in a building in Windham. Selectman Hohenberger said he feels four thermal imaging cameras is too many. “There’s too much redundancy,” Hohenberger commented. Selectman Kathleen Difruscia said town officials have to balance budget issues with safety. “We need cameras for public safety, as well as preservation of property,” she said. The cost of two new thermal imaging cameras ranges between a total of $15,618 and $18,000, according to the bids quotes received. After extensive debate, selectmen asked McPherson to obtain further information on the cameras and to delay a decision on whether or not to purchase the brand being recommended. The type of thermal-imaging camera being recommended by the fire department is slightly more expensive than the low bid. According to McPherson, however, it provides better capabilities in regard to safety issues than the slightly less expensive model sold by another company. It also has a longer battery-life than the cheaper model. It is anticipated that selectmen will make a final decision on the purchase later this month. Selectmen voted on purchasing the remaining equipment for the new fire truck by a vote of 4 to 0. Voting in favor were Vice-Chairman Bruce Breton and Selectmen Phil LoChiatto, Kathleen DiFruscia and Roger Hohenberger. Chairman Ross McLeod was not present at the time the vote was taken. The only other purchase that remains undetermined is for fire-suppression foam, as no bid was received from the vendors submitting quotes.
Sam Clarke talking with a police officer at the Open House
Anna and Jacob checking out the candy bucket Smokey the Bear made an appearance Working Together to Recycle
By Karen Plumley At Pelham Elementary School (PMS), kids have learned a new slogan - Drink It Then Sink It - and are getting into the swing of recycling their empty containers and bottles at lunchtime. According to Pelham School District Food Service Director Rhonda Peckham, the school goes through somewhere between 800 and 1,200 containers of milk, juice, water and Gatorade daily and upon learning this fact, members of the PES-PTA have been trying to establish a recycling program that will encourage kids to place their bottles into a specially marked recycle bin in the cafeteria. “We’ve been wanting this for the last two years,” said PTA President Kristen Rodrigue. “But everyone needed to get on board, including the SAU, members of the school board, maintenance personnel, students, administration and teachers,” she described. Lunchroom monitors enforce the “Drink It Then Sink It” program at all the lunches, and members of the maintenance department keeps on top of emptying the lunchroom recycling bin periodically.
One of the biggest roadblocks, according to Rodrigue, was to figure out how to remove recycled containers from the school site. Luckily Ron Hannon, Recycling Coordinator at Pelham’s Recycling Center (PERC), was instrumental in securing a free dumpster for the school. Empire Recycling of
Billerica, MA, removes the bottles on a regular schedule also for free. Even PMS Art Teacher Mr. Coutu was enlisted to make a
motivational work of art for the “Drink It Then Sink It” initiative. His message, “Think Green,” along with a cleverly designed Pelham panther holding a recycling bin, is paired in a colorful poster hanging up in various locations around the school.
staff photo by Karen Plumley Pelham~Windham News Volume 9 Number 143 October 14, 2011 16 Pages
Windham Fire and Police Open House
by Robyn Hatch The Windham Police and Fire Departments held an Open House on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Close to 100 children showed up for the various activities, from riding in an ambulance, to climbing the fire truck ladders. There was a lot to do. Fire control pamphlets were also given away. Firefighters also handed out candy and balloons to children. The highlight of the day was watching firemen distinguish fires in cars. This was a powerful demonstration and not to be forgotten soon. Again, no one got hurt and it was recommended for children not to copy what was going on. Tours of both departments were available, as well as related demonstrations. Police were on hand to fingerprint children and a blood drive was held in cooperation with the American Red Cross.
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Firefighters demonstrate extinguishing a car fire at the Fire Department’s Open House on Saturday
PTA, lunch monitors, and maintenance crew band together to make the Drink It Ten Sink It recycling program a success at Pelham Elementary School.
Single Stream Recycling Contract Signed
by Barbara O’Brien After getting in touch with numerous single-stream recycling firms throughout the area, Windham Transfer Station Manager Dave Poulson chose to recommend staying with the company with which the town is currently contracted. “I contacted virtually every vendor,” Poulson told selectmen, during the October 3 board meeting, but the price being paid for recyclables is down pretty much everywhere, these days. “It’s tough in this economy,” Poulson explained. The current contract, which is with Integrated Paper, expires December 31. After reviewing the three final vendors being considered, Poulson recommended to selectmen that the Town of Windham stay with that firm for the next five years. The three vendors who received final consideration for single- stream recycling included Integrated Paper of Woburn, MA,
Empire Recycling of Billerica, MA, and Cassela Recycling Service of Charleston, MA. Integrated Paper proposed paying Windham an average of $16.80 per ton for recycled items over the next five years. Empire Recycling offered $15 per ton for the first year of its proposed contract. Cassela proposed paying Windham $5 per ton across the board for the upcoming five years. On Poulson’s recommendation, selectmen approved continuing with a five-year contract with Integrated Paper, beginning January 1, 2012 and running through December 31, 2017. Voting in favor of the new contract were Vice-Chairman Bruce Breton and Selectmen Roger Hohenberger, Kathleen DiFruscia and Phil LoChiatto. Chairman Ross McLeod was not in attendance at the October 3 board meeting.
staff photos by Robyn Hatch
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