Raymond News

Raymond Firefighters Association Saves Town Money
By Penny Williams   11-28-14

Over the last 25 years the Raymond Firefighters Association has stepped up to the plate and saved Raymond taxpayers a lot of money. The Raymond Firefighters Association did this by funding equipment acquisitions, equipment repairs, and purchases of needed fire department items primarily through its annual sale of Christmas trees and the booth the firefighters have at the Town Fair.

The sale of the Christmas trees this year will take place at the fire department on Scribner Road on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. or until the trees are gone.

Fire Chief Kevin Pratt and Deputy Chief Paul Hammond detailed the association efforts over the past 25 years.

“This is our 25th annual Christmas tree sale,” Pratt said. “We try to get it all taken care of on this one weekend, and Sunday we are there until the last trees are gone. It is a busy weekend this year with the Christmas Parade, which we will have equipment in, and other events going on. We have lots of families who are returning customers for a Christmas tree, year after year.

“Lots of families come with kids and they get to visit and climb on the fire trucks, and we always have cookies or something so it is a really fun time,” he added. “We look forward to seeing the returning families and meeting new ones.”

Pratt said they spray the trees with fire retardant, which he said makes them last better, stay greener and be less likely to catch fire.

Pratt and Hammond said over the years the firefighters have done many things to save taxpayers money. An example of their efforts was the purchase of a Ryder Truck, bought by the association and turned into a rescue truck by the firefighters. It now carries the Jaws of Life and many of the department’s rescue tools, and is equipped with appropriate lights and whatever else is needed to make it a department vehicle.

“By the time the firefighters were finished, it cost the association around $9,000,” the chief said. “It ran for nine years and then the town bought another used truck that the firefighters outfitted entirely again.”



Gang Battery Charger for Portable Radios. Cost $1200.


The association has also purchased portable radios and the bank charger for them, as well as purchasing Class A dress uniforms for every member, something that is quite expensive, Pratt noted. And the association replaced the metal chairs and old tables in Torrent Hall with new, more comfortable chairs and better tables.


ATV for pulling Rescue Trailer.



Rescue Trailer attached to the ATV for pulling people out of the woods, capable of going over logs.


 Another big project the association undertook came about when Argo Cycle on Epping Street donated a four wheeler to the department. The association constructed a box trailer and cargo carrier so that the four-wheeler and the cargo carrier all fit into the trailer.



Notice the shock absorbers made out of "KONG" dog toys.


 “The four-wheeler is a very important tool for the department,” Pratt said. “We use it to rescue and bring people out of the woods and when we have a forest fire.”



Hubcaps on 4 trucks keep dust & mud out of Hubs. Cost $1000 per truck.


The association also bought a new motor and rebuilt a cruiser used by the department, and pays for the chrome hubcaps on all the fire trucks.


1940 Ford with rebuilt motor & transmission and new radiator.

The department has a 1940 truck they keep in running order that is used to pick up the large diameter hose, saving firefighter backs, Pratt noted. Association members rebuilt that truck’s transmission and radiator.

“The association also sponsors a $500 scholarship every year for a Raymond student who plans to go into the emergency field,” Pratt said. “We also assisted by paying for a huge crane to take down the 80-foot radio tower and got it rebuilt.

During the 250th Town celebration, the association covered the cost of the Fire Department Open House, the free lunch for hundreds of people, and other events that took place.

“We’ve done quite a bit with some really creative financing over the years and all this has been primarily funded by the Christmas tree sales,” Pratt pointed out. “Our efforts have been aimed at saving the Town money on the things the department needs, and we’ve worked hard to achieve the savings over the last 25 years.”



Thermal Imaging Camera bought with Christmas Tree sale money, fund raisers and $4K donated from a resident collected over 2 years. Cost $12K.





Pratt said, "the plan is to letter the trailer, register it and add an internal battery."

In addition to the funds raised from Christmas Tree Sales, the fire department applies for grants. 

Fire Chief Kevin Pratt received a letter on Tuesday Nov. 25 confirming the award of a $5000.00 grant.

The first paragraph says, "The New Hampshire Department of Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management is pleased to provide your community with an Emergency Management Performance Grant (CFDA #97.042) The amount of the Federal portion of this grant is $5000.00 to update the community's Local Emergency Operation Plan (LEOP)."































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