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Emergency Management Director Glenn Joslyn and Fire Chief Daniel Stamborski.
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CHICOPEE — The City Council approved two of the mayor’s order at its April 2 Meeting that will allow for the purchase of jet skis and related equipment to be used in water search and rescue.

The City Council accepted the fiscal year 2024 Emergency Management Performance Grant in the amount of $27,950.

Mayor John Vieau explained the grant and the reason for the purchases.

He said, “We receive these grants annually and the departments brainstormed to try and find creative ways on how we can make Chicopee safer, and we feel that investing in two jet skis and the equipment when we can’t get the boat out there quickly in certain areas of the river, this will enhance response time.”

Part of the equipment will be a deck that can be attached to the back of the jet ski with handles so that a victim can be brought on board quickly.

Emergency Management Director Glenn Joslyn and Fire Chief Daniel Stamborski were at the meeting to further explain the purpose of the jet skis and how they envision them to be utilized.

Joslyn said, “It’s going to be a much more rapid response to get into the river should there be an incident then trying to find a place to [bring] a boat in. We are trying to make it quick.”

Stamborski showed a power point presentation to help visualize the accessibility problems the department faces at the Chicopee River.

He explained that there is no proper boat ramp at the access point on Taylor Street as well as Fuller Road making it difficult to launch a boat through the mud.
The department currently has a 12-foot Jon Boat from 1957.

“These vehicles are a lot lighter than trying to get our current boat in,” Stamborski added. “Our current boat has a newer motor, but it has nine horsepower motor, so it doesn’t go very fast and it’s not designed to rescue people. These jet skis have much more horsepower.”

The jet skis are two seaters so the plan is to have one firefighter driving and the other will be getting into the water to help the victim.

Stamborski said the goal is to train all personnel at station four to be able to use the jet skis as well as offer it to anyone else in the department who is interested.

The jets skis will be stored on Burnett Road and Chicopee Center so that both rivers are covered.

Vieau said that it’s not uncommon for departments to use jet skis, especially in a city that has the boundaries of two rivers.

Vieau added, “A lot of planning. I want to thank the chief and emergency management director for thoroughly figuring out what’s the best use of this grant and how we can make our waterways a little safer.”

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