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JANUARY 12, 2012

With Warm Winter, Fire Department Trains for Ice Rescue P


LONDONDERRY TIMES ————––––––————–◆

ond hockey and pets were some of the drivers behind a

Firefighter Mike Roberson, standing, “rescues” Fire Lieut. Mark Ryan during training exercises behind the Central Fire Station on Monday.

recent ice rescue training exercise conducted by the Londonderry Fire Department. Fire Captain Jim Roger said the exercise, con- ducted Monday, Jan. 9, was inspired in part by the many warm days this winter and the correspon- ding thinness of ice. “It is,” he said of the ice, “very tentative.” The department used a piece of equipment called the Rescue Alive system, a sled that allows a rescue team to go over both ice and water. The department also used special cold-weather suits that are both cold-resist- ant and buoyant, he said.

“A man could be 6 feet 3 inches, 230 pounds and still float,” Roger said. Roger said the entire

department is state-certi- fied in Ice Rescue Safety. For the Monday exer- cise, Roger said one team member pretended to be the victim and the others performed the rescue. Roger warned commu- nity members to be care- ful around ice. “You need to make sure there are 4 to 6 inches, and that it’s a bluish-black color,” he said. This goes for skat- ing, ice hockey, and ice fishing, he said. Those unsure of the thickness should use an auger axe or ice chipper before ven- turing out on the ice. Roger said a simple poem helps people remember. “Thick and blue is tried-and-true, thin

and crispy is way too risky.”

Pets are also at risk, he said, and should be kept away from thin ice. The department has- n’t had any “real” rescues this year, he said, and he’s happy about that.

“If you do fall in, don’t panic,” Roger advised. “Swim back to where you fell in.” An ice pick is a handy tool for the winter sportsperson, and can be useful in climbing out, he said.

Londonderry Firefighter Mike Roberson, wearing a cold-weather suit, pulls himself out of the icy water during ice rescue training . Photos by Chris Paul

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State Plan Would Have Londonderry-only Delegation


LONDONDERRY TIMES ————––––––————–◆

component of the state’s redistricting plan would remove

the two Auburn seats from Londonderry’s rep- resentation in the state legislature.

State Representative Al Baldasaro, R-London- derry and a member of the redistricting commis- sion, said a plan is being discussed at the state level to remove Auburn from the Londonderry General Court seats. The plan, which has not yet been voted on,

would have seven seats assigned to Londonderry alone, with Auburn to share three seats with two other small towns. “Now, in District 3, we have nine seats, two from Auburn and seven from Londonderry, and they’re voted on at large,” he said.

Lisa Drabik, chief spon-

sor of a petitioned war- rant article to form a com- mission to study dividing Londonderry into dis- tricts or wards, said re- moving Auburn from the mix would make it a “cleaner” process.

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It would also make it easier for the proposed commission to study the issues, she said. Part of the problem, Drabik said, is that an Auburn representative doesn’t necessarily un- derstand the concerns of the residents of London- derry.

“But this is being done at the state level, and we have no control over it,” she added. Baldasaro said he expected the redistricting plan to be voted on in early January.

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