July 4, 2012
By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Reporter
BERLIN — An $18,500 grant from the Neil and
Louise Tillotson Fund is the capstone to the White Mountain Ridge Runners (WMRR)
snowmobile club’s 18-month-long fundraising effort to raise $40,000 to purchase
a brand-new off-road rescue vehicle for emergency search-and rescue missions all
over southern Coös County.
“This was a true community effort with grass-roots support from government, private industry, non-profit organizations and individuals,” said WMRR assistant Trailmaster Larry Gomes who marvels at the “can-do” attitude that characterizes those who live in and-or regularly visit Coös County. “Without each and every one of our donors and supporters, we would not have been successful. It’s a great example of everyone pitching in and doing what they could to help the cause.”
Gomes lives in Westborough, Mass., and has a camp in Stark to which he hopes to retire someday.
The regional emergency rescue vehicle will be housed in a van at the WMRR clubhouse located on Route 110 across from Jericho Motorsports. State Fish and Game conservation officers and members of other SAR teams will be given keys to the van.
A year-and-a-half ago, Sgt. Wayne Saunders of the state Fish and Game Department explained to WMRR Club members the difficulties conservation officers were having not only reaching remote accident sites on snowmobile s, ATV and hiking trails but also, once there, in transporting accident victims out of the woods.
Sgt. Saunders said that he and other C.O.s were sometimes able to borrow equipment from other towns, but that this chewed up valuable time when rescuers should have been heading to the accident site.
Club members took up the fund-raising challenge and received initial support from Randy Cicchetto, who owns Jericho Motorsports. Cicchetto not only made the first donation to the project, but he also convinced the Arctic Cat Corporation to give a special corporate discount on a side-by-side ATV, complete with winter cab kit, tracks, and many other critically important accessories.
The WMRR Club then gave its own donation quickly followed by the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club.
The Town of Milan and City of Berlin as well as the Unincorporated Places of Coös County all pitched in with donations.
Smith and Town Printers, Ray’s Electric, Auto North Pre-Owned Superstore, Trans Canada, and Brookfield Renewable Energy (that owns 75 percent of the Granite Reliable wind farm) made business and corporate donations.
Funds were also received from the New Hampshire Outdoor Council, former state Rep. Paul Ingersoll and Triton Trailers. In all, the club raised over $40,000 in donations of equipment, grants and cash for the project from 15 different donors.
Another nine organizations that believed in the project, but did not have monies to contribute wrote letters of support for the Tillotson grant, administered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
A vehicle similar to
the one being purchased by the club transports a victim
from an accident scene.
view of Medlite transport skid which has lock down rails to secure the
a retractable IV pole, storage compartment for supplies and a moveable seat for the
attendant that can be locked into 3 different positions. This skid fits into the back of the ATV
and is used to transport the accident victim safely out of the woods.