Hudson firefighters to donate old gear

HUDSON – The Fire Department’s obsolete protective clothing will have a second life at smaller departments across the country.

The department recently inventoried its protective clothing and found several items that the department no longer uses, including 11 pairs of used firefighter boots, 20-plus pairs of obsolete firefighter gloves and nine bunker pants.

When the department upgraded its protective clothing, it replaced the equipment in question, according to Fire Chief Shawn Murray’s memo to the selectmen.

The department received permission from the selectmen to donate the equipment to the nonprofit organization Helping Our Own.

The organization distributes used firefighting and emergency medical equipment to volunteer fire departments with yearly budgets less than $15,000, according to its Web site.

Since it started in 2000, Helping Our Own has distributed about $28.3 million worth of equipment to more than 612 fire departments.

For more information, go to www.helpingourown.com.

Headed up the ladder

HUDSON – They’re moving on up.

The Board of Selectmen approved several promotions for members of the call fire force this week. The board also approved changing an administrative and training call lieutenant position into a call captain position. Longtime call force member Fred Brough was appointed to the new position.

EMS Supervisor Mickey Rudolph, who has been a call firefighter for about 23 years, was made call lieutenant. She had been acting call lieutenant.

The board also hired two fire explorers as members of the call force – Jason Gagne and Eric Dubowik. They will have to go through a probationary period like full-time firefighters.

Down on the governor

MERRIMACK – At a selectmen’s meeting Thursday night, speaking for himself and not the board, Selectman David McCray announced his disappointment with the behavior of Gov. Craig Benson and his staff during their visit to Merrimack that day.

Benson held the first of his monthly listening sessions in the town Thursday afternoon. He listened to citizen concerns and issues for three minutes each, over a three-hour period. He will hold sessions in all 10 New Hampshire counties.

After the visit, McCray compared himself to a kid who had just met his favorite baseball hero for the first time and realized he was not the person he thought he was.

“Overall, the way he (Benson) and his people conducted themselves was a disgrace,” said McCray.

He said the governor’s staff came into town hall like “storm troopers” and Benson came in like a “megalomaniac.” McCray said after some residents tried to say hello to the governor, Benson ignored them, took a call on his cell phone and turned away from them. McCray also said the town’s staff was treated poorly during the visit.

“Governor Benson and his people failed to show (respect),” said McCray. “(Benson) lost a little (respect) in this guy’s eyes today.”

Board seeking a fill-in

MONT VERNON – A replacement is being sought on the Mont Vernon School Board for Carol Fortin, who was elected in March but is stepping down because she is leaving the area.

The School Board is seeking candidates to fill the position until the next election in March 2005.

Interested candidates should submit a brief letter expressing their interest and qualifications to: Mont Vernon School Board, SAU 39, P.O. Box 849, Amherst NH 03031. Candidates will have an opportunity to present their interest and qualifications to the School Board at a future meeting.

Staff writers Anne Lundregan and David Brooks and correspondent Andrea Bushee contributed to this report.