Orange Fire Department getting $47K from federal government

Funds will be used to replace 30 year-old Jaws of Life

ORANGE, Mass. (WWLP) – Thursday was a big day for the Orange Fire Department.

Congressman Jim McGovern presented a $47,000 check to the Orange Fire Department. The Department of Homeland Security grant will help buy brand new equipment.

“It’s making sure that people in this community and people who drive through this community are safe and in order to guarantee that we need to support our first res ponders and our firefighters,” said McGovern.

The money from this federal grant will be used by the Orange Fire Department to replace their 30 year old hydraulic equipment known as the Jaws of Life. Its used to rescue people trapped inside their vehicles.

“Their equipment is way over 30 years old,” said David Parr, FEMA Northeast Regional Fire Program Specialist. “It’s worn, it’s beat, and it’s not designed to cut into the specialized construction of the vehicles that are being built today.”

These hydraulic tools include cutters, spreaders, and rams. The new equipment will also benefit neighboring communities.

“We provide this service to other surrounding towns who are not as fortunate to have this equipment, so some of the small surrounding towns call upon us to provide this service with extraction equipment,” said Orange Fire Chief James Young.

Chief Young told 22News they’ve used the Jaws of Life in airplane crashes, to lift heavy objects, and rescuing people from confined spaces.

The Orange Fire Department expect to have their upgraded equipment by the end of the year.