Letter: Accusations are uncalled for

To the editor:

In your recent article regarding New Ipswich elections, the candidates running against Chief Leel made statements that need to be clarified.

In the article, both Jim Feldhusen and Tim Johnson claim that there is not enough EMS response from the fire department. Under the current agreement with Souhegan Valley Ambulance Service, which is the primary EMS provider for the town, NIFD responds to medical calls when requested by the ambulance service. We are also available to respond, with licensed EMTs, to any medical call that SVAS is unable to respond to. Over the past several years, EMS courses have been offered to the fire department members as they have become available. The current members of the department that are not licensed EMTs do not wish to take this training. I have spoken to several of the members who have reported that they are firefighters, not EMT’s because of their own choice. There is a huge difference between fighting fires and performing medical treatment on sick or injured patients. If there comes a time when EMS response from the fire department needs to be increased, Chief Leel will do what is needed to see that happen.

Also in the article Tim Johnson stated that he believed, due to the call volume of the fire department, that the current $10,000 stipend paid to the fire chief is too high and should be lowered. This is unrealistic. The chief of any fire department has more responsibility than just responding to calls. They are in charge of the running the day-to-day operations and performing fire investigations and fire inspections, just to name of few. Chief Leel currently averages 25 to 30 hours per week performing his duties as Chief.

Support David Leel for Fire Chief of New Ipswich.

Wendy Leger

New Ipswich Fire

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