WOODSTOCK – Team leader Rick Chase said the recent demonstration of the Fire Department’s new ice rescue sled was a great success.

“The demonstration went good,” he said, “with 10 members of the department in attendance and about 15 or 20 interested citizens who came and went during the program to see what their generous donations had purchased.”

Chase said he and teammates Chris Hoyt and David Bobi will do more training soon in Andover.

Private donations brought in $12,000, twice the amount needed to buy the sled and four rescue suits, jaws for searching and rescuing victims on the bottom of a water body, four 75-foot throw bags with retractable ice picks, four 300-foot coils of rope, four helmets and four life jackets.

“With this we can have eight rescuers available to assist in a rescue and four or five on our ready team,” he said. That means four people could be suited up for the water and four could be outfitted with life jackets to assist them, he said.

No decision has been made on how to use the extra donations, Chase said.

Woodstock, Andover and Oxford are the only towns in Oxford County with ice rescue sleds.

“It’s great to have the sled and related equipment in case it’s ever needed, but I hope it never is,” Chase said.

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