Dawn Francis, Town Manager
The Colchester Technical Rescue team, dispatchers, and other municipalities’ emergency responders deserve our deep appreciation for the many hours they have been called to serve recently. The Technical Rescue team, in particular, has responded to 26 calls for help this year and, sadly, has served as an essential part of the recovery team for three drownings over the last eight days, making five drownings since the end of April. These incidents have been in addition to assisting with flooding emergencies throughout Vermont. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims of these tragedies.
You may not be aware that the Colchester Technical Rescue Team members are all volunteers. They devote many personal hours to rigorous training and responding to emergencies under the most extreme conditions. The Rescue Dive Team was originally organized in 1988. Since then it was renamed Colchester Technical Rescue and has grown to 26 members, not all Colchester residents. Giving mutual aid to municipalities across the state, they assisted during the flooding caused by Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. The Technical Rescue Team is called upon when rescue or recovery is most dangerous and they are experts in swift water, confined spaces, and ropes skills. Between 2010 and 2015 Colchester Technical Rescue responded to 227 rescue calls, many of them beyond Colchester.
We are grateful for the technical expertise of these volunteers who assist other municipalities in mutual aid. The partnerships between agencies are inspiring. These teams know each other, have enormous mutual respect, and function smoothly together.
Thank you to the selfless and dedicated members of the Colchester Technical Rescue Team and all emergency responders who save lives across the state. We extend our warm regards and wishes for their wellness and safety.
For more information about the Town Manager’s Office, please visit http://colchestervt.gov/manager or call (802) 264-5509.