ELLINGTON - The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department has been able to purchase four new Paratech Air Lifting Bags following a two-year fundraising program that involved hard work, teamwork and barbecuing chicken.
The air lifting bag are important pieces of equipment for the local fire department. "They allow us to lift vehicles and heavy machinery off from victims," said Steve Rexford, Ellington Volunteer Fire Department chief. "In fact, they can be stacked to lift even more weight, and attain more height, when necessary. We fill them with air from our self contained breathing apparatus on site."
Tony Schuekler, Paratech representative explained that the bags meet and exceed the intent of all known, recognized and published international standards for the design, production and use of air lifting bags. The bags are extremely tough, made from Neoprene, embedded with three full layers of Aramid fiber reinforcement on each side, giving the bags tremendous strength at full inflation. The department was able to purchase bags which will lift 30, 28, 22 and 17 tons, respectively.
Pictured from left are Tony Schuekler, Paratech representative; Steve Rexford, Ellington Volunteer Fire Department chief; Brad Griffith, Ellington Volunteer Fire Department; Matt Dyybka, Ellington Volunteer Fire Department barbecue chairman; and Tim Miller, of the IOB Vikings Lodge of Jamestown.
P-J photo by Sue Ann Fish
The chicken barbecue committee, chaired by Matt Dybka, which was instrumental in the raising of funds for the air lifting bags, has been "hiring out" for the past few years. The committee has been doing barbecues for area organizations, among them the Vikings IOB 65, in Jamestown.
"We've never had a complaint of any kind since the guys have been coking for us," said Tim Miller, chief of the Vikings. "In fact, folks ask when I'm selling tickets, who's doing the cooking. If it's the Ellington guys, they buy."