Lt. Josh Corson, left, and firefighter Andrew Dexter of the Norridgewock Fire Department hold some of the new extrication equipment last week purchased with a $40,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. Corson holds a cutter while Dexter holds a spreader. The tools are used to cut open automobiles and push away metal to remove people trapped inside. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

NORRIDGEWOCK — The Norridgewock Fire Department has used a $40,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to buy equipment used to remove people from wrecked automobiles.

The battery-operated extrication equipment includes a spreader, cutter and ram and stabilization struts for use at emergency scenes.

Lt. Josh Corson of the Norridgewock Fire Department handles newly purchased extrication tools last week that are stored inside a fire truck. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The new equipment replaced gear the department had used for 20 years, according to officials.

“We are extremely grateful to the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation for supporting our important project,” Deputy Fire Chief Todd Pineo said. “The new, battery-operated Hurst tools will speed the extrication process and eliminate the complications of working with older technologies.”

The equipment was added to Engine 21, a Pierce Responder pumper truck that is typically the first rescue vehicle sent to emergency calls. The equipment that was replaced will be donated to another fire department in Somerset County.

In addition to Norridgewock, the Fire Department also serves neighboring Mercer, covering about 78 miles across the two communities with a combined population of about 4,000.

“These lighter-weight, portable tools will help our crews respond quickly to emergency calls, and provide them with the right tools to do the job,” Norridgewock Town Manager Richard LaBelle said. “Acquiring this new equipment would not have been possible without the support from the King Foundation. This grant benefits not just the people of Norridgewock, but anyone who may travel through town.”

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