Request for new ‘jaws’ going to town meeting

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A town meeting will be held Nov. 2 to discuss buying a new ‘jaws of life’ for the fire company.

BEACON FALLS — Town voters will now get their say on a request for a new “jaws of life.”

The fire company’s equipment, which can cut through cars to extract victims from accidents, has been out of commission since the beginning of the summer.

Without the equipment, Beacon Falls must rely on other towns if firefighters can’t reach an accident victim, wasting precious minutes.

The total cost for the new equipment would be $25,850 to replace hoses, pump, cutters, spreaders, a power unit, and couplers that go on the end of the hoses. The Hurst brand tool will be compatible with Beacon Hose Company No. 1’s current equipment and with equipment owned by fire companies in surrounding towns, including Seymour, Oxford, and Naugatuck, according to Fire Chief Michael Pratt.

The Board of Finance approved the transfer of the money from the contingency fund earlier this month, but the amount will have to be approved in a Town Hall meeting, which has been scheduled for Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the assembly room at Town Hall.

Pratt had explored the possibility of repairing the equipment, but a company he contacted for an estimate never got back to him, he said. Pratt had previously thought the equipment cannot be repaired because the manufacturer went out of business and the parts are no longer available.