MEXICO — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously voted to accept the donation of a 2014 Polaris ATV 6-by-6 by the Mexico Firefighters Relief Association.

Matt Winston, a firefighter with the Fire Department and president of the association, said he and the rest of the Fire Department’s fundraising committee spent the last three years holding “car washes, toll roads, dances and softball tournaments” to raise the money for the ATV.

“The cost of the Polaris ATV was a little over $11,000, and we were able to raise the money without going to any businesses,” Winston added. “This is purely community donations. We’re hoping to use the ATV as a rescue vehicle and in wildfire situations. It will also be used as a mutual aid response vehicle.”

Winston attended the meeting with several fundraising committee members, as well as fire Chief Gary Wentzell.

Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick pointed to Winston and the rest of the fundraising committee and said, “Everyone should give them a round of applause for their hard work.”

Selectman Reggie Arsenault praised the association for “constantly bending over backward to help this community.


“This community ought to be really proud of our Fire Department,” Arsenault said. “They go way beyond what a fire department normally does. They’re the best bunch of men and women I know in the area, and they do this community proud. You do a hell of a job out there.”

Selectman Byron Ouellette agreed.

“This Fire Department has the best organization,” Ouellette said. “Gary and his bunch just really, really exceed at it. They don’t come with their hand out to the town looking for tax money. They do a lot of it on their own and it is really amazing to see something like that.”

The ATV, purchased through Absolute PowerSports in Gorham, N.H., was originally envisioned by the Fire Department to be used for rescue situations, though Wentzell said they’ve reassessed what it could be used for.

“Normally, we’d have this thing going out only once or twice a year, so we tried to find ways to make it more versatile,” Wentzell told the board. “We decided to go for an ATV that was a little more expensive but now, instead of taking it out once or twice, we’ll be taking it out six times a year for brush and grass fire work.”

Even with the ATV purchased, Wentzell said the donations continue to roll in for the Fire Department.


“We had someone donate a two-axle trailer to us that is worth around $1,000 to lug the ATV around,” he said. “Plus, Erik Designs said that they would do the lettering and the decal work free of charge. We’re always trying to look at every avenue to try and save money and not have it be a big burden on the town.”

Later, selectmen unanimously voted to allow Wentzell to purchase a $7,200 Kimtek Firelite Transport Deluxe Skid Unit from a company in Vermont that would help make the ATV more versatile.

Skid units consist of a tank, pump and hose mounted on a self-contained platform that allows vehicles to fight fires in areas that larger firetrucks cannot reach.

“I have money in my capital reserve account that I’ve been saving for awhile now,” Wentzell said. “I have $5,000 that was put in this year, and over the past two years, we’ve put in $2,000. I’m asking for your blessing to pay for the skid unit out of my capital reserve account.”

Selectmen voted to approve Wentzell’s request.

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