Grant boosts Nichols Fire readiness

No matter how bad the weather gets, Nichols residents can be sure their fire department

is ready to come to their aid, thanks to a $92,000 state grant.

State Sen. Anthony Musto, D-22nd District, and Chief John Plofkin, Jr., recently announced state funding for an emergency power generator for the Nichols Fire Department on Shelton Road in Trumbull. The new generator will guarantee a reliable power source for the both the fire department and backup Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service dispatch center, which is housed in the station.

Musto said last year’s severe weather and prolonged power outages made the need for the new generator clear. The department maintained power throughout the storms by using its 30-year-old generator. Plofkin said the older unit is prone to breakdowns and replacement parts are scarce.

“Tropical Storm Irene and this past fall’s nor’easter left many homes without power,” said Musto. “These recent weather emergencies further highlight the importance of an emergency generator as the Nichols Fire Station provided residents the opportunity to charge the batteries of their medical and communication devices.”

Widespread power outages following a tropical storm and a heavy October blizzard last year prompted a reexamination of the state’s emergency preparedness policies. Musto voted for comprehensive storm response legislation in May, which, among other provisions, established a pilot program to support local distributed electricity generation at hospitals, police and fire stations, prisons, water treatment plants and other critical locations statewide.

“The funding for this project will benefit the citizens of Trumbull and residents in the village of Nichols by providing the department with an uninterrupted power supply when storms and natural disasters occur affecting our residents,” said Plofkin. “The department would like to thank Senator Musto, Governor Malloy and the other state officials who helped make this project possible.”

Founded in 1917, the Nichols Fire Department is one of three all-volunteer departments in town. Operating out of two stations, the department provides primary fire and rescue services to the Nichols Fire District along with assistance to the Trumbull Center and Long Hill Fire Departments.