NORTH HAVEN — The fire department will use $40,000 in donations to purchase a drone, all-terrain utility vehicle, and trailer.
“These things would typically not be bought, because we need an engine more, we need a second ladder truck more...,” Fire Chief Paul Januszewski said. “With the donations, we can buy these smaller capital items and then put them into use right away.”
The funding came from about 25 donors, a mix of residents and business owners, according to Januszewski. The collection was overseen by commission member Peter Criscuolo, who said it was a team effort.
“(The donors) are great people,” Criscuolo said. “They have a great respect and admiration for the town. Without the help from these people, we would not be able to purchase these items.”
He said the three items were chosen based on need. Over the last year, the department borrowed drones from other towns frequently to help with emergency response.
“We're really excited about it….we're one of few departments around that have a drone right now,” Januszewski said.
Drones have been helpful in surveying scenes such as the aftermath of last May’s tornado and an explosion and fire on Quinnipiac Avenue later the same month. The drone will also be able to help find missing hikers.
The all-terrain utility vehicle replaces a 13-year-old one and will be used to get to people located by the drone. The trailer will be for transporting the ATV to the scene of an incident.
The drone, which has thermal imaging capability, is priced around $21,500, the all-terrain utility vehicle about $14,000 and trailer around $3,000. The drone was acquired late last year, and the all-terrain vehicle and trailer are expected soon.
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