NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 12, 2013

Silverados to the rescue

Police hop in trucks for storm, courtesy of Amesbury Chevrolet

AMESBURY — The emergency call came Saturday morning as snow continued to fall at a rapid clip: A pregnant woman was having a medical emergency and needed help immediately.

More than a foot of snow had already accumulated on Lincoln Court, the narrow way off Main Street where the woman lived, making it unlikely the police department’s rear-wheel Crown Victoria cruisers could navigate through the piles.

Thankfully for all those involved, the responding police supervisor wasn’t driving his cruiser, but rather one of two all-wheel drive Silverado trucks loaned to the department by Amesbury Chevrolet specifically for the storm.

Officers arrived just after an ambulance crew, and everyone involved was able to transport the woman to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport for treatment.

“It took a four-wheel drive to get to her and it was great cooperation between departments,” Deputy fire Chief David Mather said yesterday.

The idea of loaning the new four-door crew cab trucks to the Police Department came from Amesbury Chevrolet President Brian Fecteau, who called Chief Mark Gagnon Friday morning asking if he was in need of a truck or two.

Police officers used the trucks to respond to multiple calls during the storm, making at least two arrests and diffusing potentially dangerous domestic issues with the aid of the all-wheel drive vehicles.

Just prior to the storm hitting, Gagnon said he and second-in command Lt. Kevin Ouellet discussed how to best employ the department’s two existing 4-by-4 vehicles, a command SUV operated by Ouellet and a 2005 Chevy Blazer formerly operated by retired Chief Michael Cronin.

As back-up, Gagnon reached out to fire Chief Jonathan Brickett, wondering if he might be able to lend him one of his four-wheel drive SUVs. But at the same time, he expressed concern about taking away a resource from the fire department.

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