Inside Look at Haddam and Haddam Neck (FL) Departments

The Haddam Volunteer Fire Department is an organization independent of the town of Haddam as an administrative/budget liaison between the town and two fire companies: The Haddam Volunteer Fire Company and the Haddam Neck Volunteer Fire Department.

“Basically we oversee the two fire companies on behalf of the town,” said Fire Department President Scott Larson. “We’re responsible for future planning, need assessment and making sure allocated funds are spent properly.”

The HVFD’s Board of Directors is made up of fire chiefs from both sides of the river, a member of each fire company, the president, treasurer and secretary. The board reviews budget and capital requests from individual fire companies and submits a unified budget proposal to the town’s Board of Selectmen. Once approved, the department’s treasurer and town of Haddam’s finance director work together to supervise spending.

The fire companies identify equipment needs and vendors, and the town pays the bills. For a small number of purchases, the fire companies buy directly and seek reimbursement. Everything purchased is town property.

The basic operating budget pays for things like fuel, electricity, apparatus maintenance and training for the fire companies’ combined 80 or so members.

Haddam maintains 11 emergency motor vehicles — pickup trucks to a 2,700-gallon water tanker — two rescue boats, a Gator All-Terrain Vehicle and four trailers. Haddam Neck has an engine, tanker, light rescue truck, Jeep refitted for brush fires, brush truck and ATV.

Annual funding supports fire protection and medical services – typically more than 600 calls per year – for 8,400 residents. The 46-square mile coverage area includes nine miles of the Connecticut River and busy stretch of Route 9.

Additional funding is sought from sources outside the normal tax base.

One such purchase were Epi-Pens – emergency doses of epinephrine acquired with the Haddam Volunteer Fire Co. Auxiliary and now carried on apparatus at each of Haddam’s three stations.

In 2003 and 2004, FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grants were awarded to the HVFC, money used towards Rapid Intervention training open to all Middlesex County departments, as well as a new radio system and new radios for all apparatus.

Volunteers are always needed for both departments. See the Haddam Volunteer Fire or Haddam Neck Volunteer Fire websites.

For more information, view www.middletownpress.com

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