On Monday evening, Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. made a presentation to the Board of Selectmen about a new program to support the Central Mass Law Enforcement Council (CEMLEC). The department will be outfitting a 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle with Advanced Life Support equipment, and the bike will be embedded into the CEMLEC Motor Unit to provide immediate Emergency Medical care to both motor officers and the public. Attending the meeting with Coleman were Lt. Todd Lemon from Auburn Police Dept. and Chief Thomas Ford from the Sturbridge Police Dept. Both officers are leaders within the CEMLEC organization and oversee the Motor Unit.
Coleman said the program “is a continuation of our relationship with CEMLEC that as a department we have enjoyed for over 15 years.” The department currently has one Paramedic assigned to the SWAT Team who trains with them and responds to SWAT activations to provide advanced medical care and treatment to injured SWAT officers.
Chief Ford said, “Public safety partners train together regularly in order to better enhance our response to critical incidents. Many of the CEMLEC Motor Unit assignments involve the organized movement and control of hundreds of people and motorists at any one time. The addition of an Emergency Medical Services component to our Motor Unit will integrate Advanced Life Support into our operational readiness and allow us to have highly trained medical personnel at the ready, in an instant, should the unfortunate need for their services arise.” Ford pointed to an incident this past summer when a Motor Officer went down during a traffic escort mission. The officer suffered serious injuries and was in a remote community where it took over 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
Chief Coleman pointed out that although some may think it is unconventional for EMS providers to deliver care from a motorcycle, there are successful EMS Motor Units around the world and in the United States including Connecticut. Although Auburn is not the first EMS motorcycle unit to operate in Massachusetts, they will be the first to operate at the Advanced Life Support level. “The Island of Nantucket operated 4 EMS motorcycles for many years at the Basic Life Support level.” Coleman added, “I am so proud to work for this community because we are looked at as forward thinking and visionaries. We are not afraid to do something new, and we are not afraid to be the first at something. This community and our department have a long standing history and tradition with that philosophy.”
Chief Ford personally thanked Coleman for his support and said they “welcomed this addition to the CEMLEC as we continue to work together to provide our communities better services each day”.
Chief Coleman informed the board that the department received $21,100 in donations and grants to upstart the Motor Unit and expects that number to climb. Coleman anticipates operating the program at the cost of the lease, $1,570 annually.
The three department members that have been selected for the Motor Unit are Captain Justin Brigham who will be overseeing the unit internally and Firefighters Fran Hartnett and Scott Henderson. All are described as “responsible, conscientious riders and employees.” They will be attending the 80 hour Police Motorcycle training School in August at Northwestern University, Center for Public Safety in Weymouth MA, where national trainers will put them through an intense two week program, the same program that all CEMLEC Motor Officers have graduated from. Coleman expects the program to be fully operational on August 26, 2017.
The Board of Selectmen applauded the efforts of the Fire Rescue Department by continuing to find ways to improve on services and programs that are delivered. They pointed out the unbelievable relationship between the Auburn Police and Fire Departments that are based on admiration and respect for each other’s work. The Selectmen were thankful that the Town is able to continue to assist in the mission of CEMLEC and is able to provide this new program for the protection of the Motor Officers and the public.