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Widow asks for better emergency services in Sanbornton

March 04, 2009
SANBORNTON — The Board of Selectmen assured residents last week that they are doing their best to improve emergency services in Sanbornton, especially in the watershed area.

"We don't expect 100 percent," said Carmine Cioffi, "but we do expect a little more than what we have been getting."

Cioffi asked to read a letter that he wrote in response to a letter by Andrew Livernois, who is the chairman of the Board of Selectmen. Livernois did not allow Cioffi to read the three page letter and instead asked him to state what he wanted the selectmen to do. Cioffi described how his wife suffered a heart attack and died on March 1 last year and the police officer who was first on the scene didn't have a defibrillator in the car.

Cioffi wondered why the officer didn't have a defibrillator and asked the police chief who, according to the letter, stated that they only had one and it happened to be in the other officer's car at the time of the report. Town Administrator Bob Veloski replied that since then they have bought a second unit so that both police vehicles carry defibrillators. Cioffi said he still wants to see better coverage of the waterfront area, where he and many others in the town live.

"We have talked many times about what to do for emergency services at the waterfront area," said Livernois. "We have added daytime and weekend coverage. When we talk about improving roads we often talk about Black Brook Road because we know that's the road the ambulance needs to use to get to your area."

One of the proposed ideas for improving services to the waterfront area is building a garage near the waterfront to house an ambulance. Selectman Steven Ober was against the idea, saying that "an empty ambulance in an empty building doesn't help people, people help people."

"It has to do with the people living in the town," said Cioffi, "all the people down there who might one day need the assistance of the town. If you want to talk about pain and anger, I have plenty of it."

"I know you do, Carmine and I am not trying to diminish that," responded Livernois. "The delay is not because of inaction, it's because the board is not convinced that's the best course of action."

Selectman Dave Nickerson suggested that the town might be able to rent something in the summer. He added that they planned to talk to the chief of police next week about the situation. He said he couldn't see the town building another fire station, but proposed they might also look into working with Belmont again. The town once shared services cooperatively with Belmont to get coverage in the area.

"You have a table here," said Cioffi, "and the best thing to do is to get people around this table and ask them what we should do."

Ober added that if people are really concerned about this issue than they need to support the warrant articles for the roads, because that is what slows down services.

"I understand what you are saying," said Livernois, "but its part of the nature of living in a rural town. It simply takes longer for services to get to you."

Martin Lord Osman
Tilton School
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