Souhegan Mutual Aid System
The Mont Vernon Fire Department is part of a multi-town mutual aid compact called Souhegan Mutual Aid System. As a member town, we support the mutual aid districts emergency services. Area towns support each other during emergencies and pay dues. These dues are used to fund foam banks for use by the towns and emergency support response services (see below). The services that are available through our mutual aid system could never be accomplished by an individual town, not only would it be cost prohibitive, but also the manpower requirements.
SMART Souhegan Mutual Aid Response Team
SMART Haz-Mat truck
The Mont Vernon Fire Department is part of the Souhegan Mutual Aid Response Team (SMART). SMART was created by the Souhegan Mutual Fire Aid Association (SMFAA) during the 1990s. As a member of the SMFAA, Mont Vernon joined other communities to establish the capability to respond to Level A hazardous materials incidents (the most hazardous classification). Establishing a team of this caliber is an expensive proposition, both in startup capital and ongoing training and equipping. The cost of such an endeavor is beyond the monetary resources of the Town of Mont Vernon on its own. By joining with towns and cities from New Ipswich to Nashua, Hudson to Weare, we can assure that we have the capability to handle such hazardous incidents without bearing the cost alone.
The team is based in Nashua, at the Lake Street Fire Station. The team is staffed by full-time Nashua firefighters, who take on the added training and responsibility in addition to their regular firefighting duties.
In the event of an incident, the team is requested by the senior fire officer in charge, the incident commander. The hazmat team will coordinate hazardous materials operations and will make entry if necessitated by the circumstances. The local fire officer is still in command of the incident, and the team does report through the local incident command system.
Swift Water Rescue Team:
A new aspect of the mutual aid system, and centered with the Bedford Fire Department. With member town’s personnel being trained in many aspects of water rescue, Bedford Fire Department as the lead department, has been able to secure grants for equipment, boats, rescue suits, and training of their Department and our mutual aid town's personnel.