The Concord Lions had a “hot” guest speaker at our May 10th Dinner Meeting: Concord Fire Chief Mark Cotreau. Chief Cotreau spoke about changes in emergency services in Concord during his 34 year tenure with the department. Changes in population, community services, training, and technologies have both made the job more demanding and improved fire and rescue capabilities. For example, while fires are often prevented or caught earlier due to improved smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, fires in newer building can also sometimes be more dangerous due to gasses produced by burning plastics, heat trapped by more energy efficient windows, and changes in construction techniques. Fortunately, newer technologies, such as heat detectors and improved safety gear allow our fire department to continue to protect us.
Many Lions were surprised to learn that 20.1% of Concord residents are over the age of 65, a larger proportion than in most comparable towns; and many of these elderly residents live alone, further complicating emergency situations. Many were also impressed by the increase in emergency calls handled but the fire department: Chief Cotreau reports that the department handled over 3500 calls last year, over half of which were medical emergencies. While we are lucky to have a hospital, dialysis clinic, and many fine medical offices in town, these facilities often require emergency services.
Chief Cotreau also spoke about water and ice rescue services, an area in which the Concord Lions has contributed to the department in the past… including a past purchase of a hovercraft! We hope to continue to work closely with the fire & rescue department and invite them to let us know whenever we can be of service.
Thank you to Chief Cotreau for his time, for his outstanding service to the town, and to the entire department for their continued dedication to the safety of our community.