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Annual reports of the Town of Derry, New Hampshire (Volume 2003) online

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Fire Department

The Fire Department is currently in the process of completing Fire Accreditation through
the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Accreditation is the process by
which fire departments throughout the world achieve excellence through self-assessment
and peer review, in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the
enhancement of service delivery to their communities. The Department plans to complete
this process in 2004.

This past year the Fire Department has made some important purchases. The Forestry
Unit and Utility Pick-up vehicle were replaced to better serve the needs of the
community. The forestry truck is a light, versatile, and maneuverable vehicle making it
perfect for our rural and urban environments. The Department also purchased a state-of-
the-art Breathing Apparatus Testing System. This system will allow on-site testing and
calibration of the air packs our firefighters wear in hazardous environments, and will help
make their jobs safer.

This past year, the Department has logged over 800 hours of in-house training. Each
company officer is responsible for keeping their crew at a high state of readiness for any
emergency event. They do this by training their crews in Basic and Advanced
Emergency Medicine, Hazardous Materials, Terrorism, Technical Rescue, Firefighting,
Fire Prevention and many other topics. Department personnel have taken advantage of
training opportunities throughout the State. They have attended courses in Rescue
Systems, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, Hazardous Materials, and Terrorism.

Also, this year the Department has had three new employees graduate fi-om the State Fire
Academy, five dispatchers received certification in communications, and one Paramedic
graduated fi-om a National Tactical Medic Program. A Tactical Medic is used to assist the
Police Department during extended police emergencies.

Our Department Vehicle Maintenance Division services twenty-foiir vehicles. This year
our mechanic Bill Rutherford earned ASE certification as "Master" Emergency Vehicle
Technician. He specializes in aerial, fire pumps, and ambulance maintenance. Lt.
Rutherford is the only Master Level 3, emergency vehicle technician in the State. We are
very proud of his accomplishments.



43



Ambulance Service

The Department has twenty-four advanced life support trained Paramedics on staff. This
allows the Department to send several Paramedics to the scene of a patient that is
critically ill or injured. We feel this system truly saves lives and reduces pain and
suffering of all patients in our community.

The Ambulance Service is a leader in the region in providing the best patient care. The
Department remains the only nationally accredited Fire Department-Based Ambulance
Service on the East Coast. Our Paramedics continue to expand their role to incorporate
the latest in life-saving techniques and tools. These new techniques are only offered in
Deny.

The Department's Bike Medic team is active at public events. This specialized medical
team can access medical emergencies more effectively in public gatherings, parades and
events that are located in remote locations (such as bike paths). The Department
continues to be active with its injury prevention programs. We are an official child
passenger safety seat fitting station, we provide bike safety helmets (free or at minimal
cost), offer a fall prevention program for the elderly, and participate in snowmobile and
ATV safety classes.

Deny Fire Ambulance Service is an integral part of the coordination and development of
State Emergency Medical Services. We currently have department personnel involved in
State coordinating and development committees to better statewide programs and
services.

In 2003, Parkland Medical Center recognized Lt. Scott Haggart as Paramedic of the Year,
Paramedic Shawn Haggart for Injury Prevention, and the Deny Fire Department for
"Team Life Saving Award."

Deny is a leader in EMS in this region; many other systems are attempting to provide the
level of care and customer service our personnel have established as a benchmark.

Communications

The Communications Division of the Fire Department welcomes a new town to the list of
communities we serve, Windham. This new partnership has been a great success for both
communities. Other communities served by the communications center are Auburn,
Chester, Hampstead, and the Hazardous Material District.

Our communications personnel have completed the first level of NFPA standard training
and will complete the advanced level training next spring. Last year the communications
center handled more than 7400 emergency calls. The Department plans to replace a
majority of dispatching equipment this year in order to meet the increasing demand for
services in Derry and the communities we serve.



44



Emergency Management Agency

The Emergency Management Agency continues to make strides with improvements at
the Town's Emergency Operations Center, which is located at the Municipal Center.
Upgrades include computer equipment, incident management tools, and in the fall of
2003 a new weather/storm monitoring. We are also in the final process of creating a
town-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan. This Plan will take effect in 2003 once final approval
is granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and adopted by the Town
Council. The plan has also been updated to include recent hazard possibilities, such as a
smallpox outbreak response.

The Town's Reverse 9-1-1 program (a state-of-the-art emergency notification system) has
been updated and additional training has been supplied to broaden the number of certified
users in the event of an emergency. The Agency has also asked citizens to notify the
Town in the event their telephone is either non-published or unlisted in order to be placed
on the Reverse 9-1-1 database. The EMA plans to establish a Local Emergency Planning
Commission in the next year, along with assisting with providing a Citizen Emergency
Response Team training program.

I want to thank retired Chief Stowers for his twenty-five years of service and leadership
to our fire department and wish him well on his retirement. Congratulations to Dispatcher
Joyce McRobbie who retired this year after twenty-one years of service. Lieutenant
William Gillis was the Derry VFW's firefighter of the year for 2003. He is a Captain in
the Air Force Reserve with the 459 Medical Airlift Wing, currently deployed in Iraq.
Also serving in this war are: Scott Sewade with 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. Pvt.
Sewade is the son of retired firefighter Wayne Sewade. Also, Firefighter Mark Sheehan's
son Adam Svenson is a naval firefighter on the Carrier Harry S. Truman. We pray for
their safety and speedy return home.

Our ability to meet increases in service demands remains strong. We take pride in the
Department's capabilities and response persormel to handle all potential incidents or
emergencies. The professionalism and dedication of our persormel is truly invaluable.

I want to welcome and wish success to our incoming Fire Chief George Klauber. It has
been a pleasure and a privilege to serve and live in this commimity for the past thirty
years.

Yours In Fire Protection
Michad Si. Cww^, Chief
Derry Fire Department



45



Derry Fire Department and Ambulance Service
FY 2003 Fire / ElVIS Call Breakdown



Fire Responses/Activity 5395

Building Fires 29

Vehicle Fires 21

Brush Fires 31

Other Fires

Alarm Call With No Fire 407

Engine Response with Amb 1 1 86

Hazardous Condition Calls 195

Other Calls/Good Intent 86

Service Calls 86

Mutual Aid Given 92

Mutual Aid Received 41



EMS Responses


3422


Patients Transported


2633


from Derry


2342


from Auburn


115


from Chester


120


from other communities


56



Patients refusing transport



764



Total Fire Dept. & EMS Activity:

8817 Calls For Service



Burning Permits 1655

Assembly Permits 35

Commercial Occupancy Insp 802

Oil Burner Inspections 50

Gas Inspections 147

Plans Reviews 240

Blasting Permits 16

Fire Prevention School Visits 69

Elderly Facility Visit 1

Fire Station Tours 74

Child Car Seat Safety Insp 1 50

Bike Medic Details 15

Fire Extinguisher Training 5

Public Safety Programs 3



46



HERITAGE COMMISSION

The Deny Heritage Commission's motto is "Touching the future by preserving the past"
and our goal is to preserve and promote appreciation for the history of Deny. The
Heritage Commission's key project for this past year was the foimding of the new
"Museimi of Deny History" in the Benjamin Adams Memorial Building in the downtown
area. This was a joint effort with the Deny Historical Society. The museum features
several permanent displays as well as a number of rotating displays, all of which seek to
enrich visitors' knowledge of Derry's diverse, interesting, and sometimes surprising
history. The displays cover the whole spectrum of local history, from the early settlement
of Old Nutfield through events of more recent vintage. The museum was officially
opened in December of 2002. Although we have not yet organized the requisite volunteer
power to allow for regular hours of operation, the museum is currently available to
visitors by appointment. Visitors are invited to call the Heritage Commission at 434-6042
and anange for their ovm private or group tour! We anticipate a grand opening and the
establishment of regular hours in the very near future. Toward that end, the commission
invites and encourages historically minded townspeople to consider volunteering their
time at the museum. No experience is necessary; we will gladly train all volunteers. The
work would mainly consist of being present at the museum and available to assist
visitors, so that the museum can be open for regular hours as mentioned above.

In addition to the museum project, the commission also continued with its traditional
duties of researching and answering historical queries from individuals, organizations,
and local newspapers, and advising the Town Council and other town officials regarding
historical issues. During this year, the Heritage Commission has received and catalogued
significant donations of artifacts and other historic materials. Donors included the Molly
Reid Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Newell Family, the 584
Trust, the Continental Cobbler, the Northlite Glass Company, Mr. Hercules
Pappachristos, Mr. Topper Hamblett, Paul and Deede Loffler, and Dawn and Gaylon
Spinney. To all of our donors, the commission extends warm and heartfelt thanks. We
were also grateful to receive financial support from the Questers, the East Deny Village
Improvement Society, the Deny Village Improvement Society, and Pinkerton Academy.
In addition, we wish to express special thanks to Richard and Linda Boulette and Leo
Martineau for the considerable volunteer labor which they performed this year. Finally,
as always, the board appreciates the support of the Town Council and the Town
Adminisfrator.

The Heritage Commission continues to gratefully accept artifacts and other historical
items for the museum collection, as well as financial contributions to assist in carrying
out the board's mission. Just as importantly, we encourage local residents to share with us
their stories and anecdotes of the Deny of "bygone years," so that these stories can be
preserved for fiiture generations.

Respectfully submitted,
T^icAand 'i¥oimeA, Chairman
Deny Heritage Commission



47



HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMITTEE

The Deny Highway Safety Committee was originally conceived to provide a means to
access State and Federal funds for safety needs of the town. The Committee started in
the late 1960's and received funds for ambulances, police vehicles, radar units and many
more worthwhile projects that have funneled into the Town of Deny by the Committee.

The Committee meets every third Thursday of the month at 9:00 am at the Deny
Municipal Center on the 2" Floor, Room 207. The public is welcome to attend any
meeting. All Safety requests must be submitted in writing and forms may be obtained at
the Deny Municipal Center.

The Committee is comprised of citizens and department heads. Deny Police Chief
Edward Garone, Deny Fire Department Chief Mike Crosby, East Deny Fire Department
Chief John Nadeau, Alan Cote of the Department of Public Works, and Jane Kershaw of
the School Department. Appointees are Grant Benson, Jr. - Chairman and Secretary,
Tom Caron, Randall Chase, Tim Shanetts, and Al Dimmock.

This past year, the Committee has had numerous requests for Stop - Slow - Dead End -
Deaf Child - Handicap Child - Yield - Caution - Curves Ahead - and Moose Crossing
signs. We've had requests for sidewalks, crosswalks, and brush trimming which was
done. We've also had requests for No Parking signs - 15 and 30 Minute Parking signs
and Bus Stop signs. We also acted on some public servitude items.

Some of the requests the Committee did act upon were: changing the entrance and exit of
Valvoline Oil. A public hearing was held to either stripe or reduce the speed on parts of
English Range Road. The speed was reduced to 30MPH. School Zone signs reducing
speed to 20 MPH were put on all streets near schools. Concerns were expressed about
accidents at the Deny Village Rotary Circle. The police department says 15 to 20
accidents per year occur and those are fender benders. St. Thomas Aquinas School is
going to build a gymnasium and a cafeteria and we requested No Parking or Stopping on
Rollins Street from Crystal Avenue to Franklin Street. The Deny Police Department
with the State developed an enforcement program regarding child passengers and all
passengers to use seat belts. We will continue to do our best in responding to requests
from citizens in the fixture.

I wish to thank all departments for their assistance this past year. We are looking forward
to working with you again in the coming year.

Respectfully submitted.
Chairman



48



HOUSING & REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Fiscal year 2003 has shown many changes at the Deny Housing and Redevelopment
Authority. Most notably is the retirements of our long time and well respected Executive
Director Vernon Kelley. After numerous years of unselfish commitment to low and
moderate income families in the greater Deny community, Mr. Kelley has retired to play
golf and spend more time with his family. He will be sadly missed by the staff,
commissioners and residents of the Derry Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

FY2003 also showed some significant changes in the structure and hierarchy of our
Board of Commissioners. Ms. Wilma Willson, who most recently had been our
chairperson, was not reappointed to another five-year term and has been replaced by Mr.
Grant Benson, Jr. Welcome Mr. Benson and giant thank you to Ms. Willson for her
tireless efforts on behalf of the Authority and the individuals and families we provide
services to. The Board hierarchy has changed also with Commissioner Arthur "Bud"
Evans being elected to the position of Chairperson. Long term Derry resident Carol
Gaeta is our Vice Chair, senior center advocate James Barton is our treasurer and
secretary, and well respected Deny resident Mary Noonan round out our five
commissioners.

During the past twelve months the Derry Housing and Redevelopment Authority has
attempted to increase our housing stock through an acquisition of a mobile home on
Windham Depot Road as well as the recent purchase of the former Mountain View
Daycare Center located at 1 7 South Main Street in Derry to be developed into apartments
for elderly and disabled individuals in a community-based setting. Most recently the
Authority has been investigating other purchases and acquisitions in the Derry
Community that could be developed for use by low and moderate income individuals and
families.

Our Section 8 rental assistance Program continues to be very successfiil in assisting low
and moderate income persons fmd safe, secure and stable housing in this very expensive
rental housing market. The Derry Housing and Redevelopment Authority has recently
requested additional Housing Choice Vendors from the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Currently the Authority manages 100
vouchers and has been forced to keep our waiting list closed. The average wait for rental
assistance is several years and we are hopefiil that these additional vouchers from HUD
would help reduce our waiting list, the wait time for assistance and allow us to re-open
the waiting list to more Derry residents who are in need of assistance.

As the new Executive Director of the Derry Housing and Redevelopment Authority, I
want to thank all of the town officials, employees and Derry residents who have
welcomed me to my new position and assisted me with the fransition from Mr. Kelley's
tenure as Director.

Respectfially submitted,
Sc4>U 9*. SiaUeH^

Executive Director



49



HUMAN RESOURCES

This has been a transitional year for the employees in many ways. We've adjusted to
being "newlyweds", all working together under one roof, in the Deny Municipal Center.
However, change doesn't stop there for our administrative staff; we went one step fiirther
and began training on the new MUNIS software package. We hired 9 new employees
this year along with a variety of seasonal and temporary employees. This includes a new
Director of Human Resources & Administration, who joined us in February, just in time
for contract negotiations with five of the bargaining units.

The Town-wide Joint Loss Management Committee has been instrumental in improving
safety and wellness for our staff this past year. They have met the three-year goals they
implemented, and we now have updated procedures, a safety training program and
updated manuals, regularly scheduled safety and preventative inspections in each of our
facilities and a wellness program which included a benefits fair for all staff and onsite
wellness programs. We have a safer and healthier staff and have decreased our Worker's
Compensation claims over the past year due to these efforts.

The pace doesn't slow down as we enter FY04 with preparations to go "live" with the
Human Resources Information System module of the MUNIS software. We are
conducting a job analysis study this upcoming year throughout the town, working on a
transitional staffing plan to prepare for staff retiring, continuing to upgrade our training
and development programs and will be negotiating new contracts in 6 of the 7 bargaining
units.

The Human Resources Department is committed to continually improving the work
enviroimient and meeting the varied needs of each department in the Town of Deny.

RespectfiiUy submitted,

Director of Human Resources and Administration



50



HUMAN SERVICES



The Human Service Department voucher payments increased during FY2003 due
primarily to the closure of Sanmina's local facility and the downturn in technology
related service businesses. Pressure on housing rental rates has been driven by the high
demand in the area housing market. Many local apartment rents are now over
$1000/month. It is very difficult to locate any "affordable housing" in the Deny area.

Continuing to be hit especially hard are senior citizens and persons with disability who
live on a fixed income. Regular calls are received from seniors' families looking for
affordable rentals, seniors' housing to purchase, and assisted living. Unfortunately, every
senior complex in town has a very long waiting list that is over a year long. The Deny
Housing Authority has about a two-year wait for Section 8 rental assistance. Supportive
daily services for seniors is also in high demand, and we find ourselves providing
increasing refenals to local human services agencies for seniors' programs.

Homeless and at-risk of homelessness clients grew again this year from a peak of 327 last
year, to a peak of 385 in FY 2003. It has been our policy to assist as many clients as
possible in maintaining their existing apartments or homes, rather than refer them to a
shelter. Shelter space is limited, and it is extremely difficult to find appropriate
replacement housing due to the high demand for all types of housing in the local area.
Low-cost temporary lodging is also limited since we compete with other area towns that
have similar problems. Most of the at-risk clients are Deny residents; with approximately
5% drawn from other towns.

The good news is that low mortgage interest rates have relieved the housing cost burden
for many potentially at-risk residents. We have had the largest number of welfare liens
paid off in the town's history. This means that clients have been able to relieve their debt
by refinancing, reduce housing pajmients, and now have the opportunity to look forward
to a more financially secure fiature.

A very generous community effort late last fall assisted us in providing holiday baskets
and toys to a record number of needy families. Among some of our special supporters we
would like to thank Marsha Chapel's Girl Scout Troop, Fleet Bank, Sue Carradini and all
of the other ICU nurses at Parkland Medical Center, Andrea Morrison, The Professional
Firefighters Association, Anna Ludwig and the Wal Mart employees. The First Parish
Church, The Greater Derry Jaycees, Jack Webb and Phil Rice of the The Deny / Salem
Elks, The Halcyon Club, The Eagles Club, Clem LaPlante, and all of the Town
employees who adopted families. Thank you for all of your time and generous donations!



51



Homegoods continues to donate household items to us on a regular basis, and Victory
Market has stepped up food donations, for which we continue to be grateful. We use
these items to supplement commimity programs as needed. We continue to operate a
personal care items pantry for Deny residents in acute need. This service is available on a
monthly basis to those who do not qualify or have access to other support programs.

My own short-term disability to recover fi-om surgery has had an impact on hours and
staffing, and I want to thank both staff and clients who have stepped in to help. Vivian
Sebastian, our "Experience Work" program volunteer assistant was a great help in
assisting clients during my absence early in the year. She recently left the department,
and we will miss her. Diane Skelton, on loan to the office from the Department of Parks
& Recreation has previous human services agency experience, and as a result has stepped
in very capably to assist clients until we are able to hire a regular staff replacement.



Respectfully Submitted,

(Patricia ^imo

Human Services Administrator



52



INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY



2003 proved to be quit a busy year in the IT Department. Users are now finally comfortable with
the new surroundings and working together under one roof The consolidation of departments has
definitely created more of a workload for IT but on the other hand not having to run across town to
fix problems anymore is undoubtedly a benefit.

A major highlight this year was the acquisition and implementation of our new financials software.
This acquisition means the end of our last 16-bit legacy application and puts all our users in a true
windows environment, thus eliminating the overhead and maintenance costs of the Novell server
hosting our current financial application. The benefits of acquiring our new package became evident
from the onset. For the first time all users were involved in the evaluation of a software during all
stages of implementation. As with any new application there has been the initial "break-in" period.
User feedback has been positive and hopefiiUy this application will serve us well into the fiiture.

The IT staff currently manages over 85 computers at the Municipal Center. To avoid the overhead
costs of computer disposal at the end of a systems usefiil life we have entered a lease agreement for
workstation computers. A three year cycle is the projected lease duration of our systems. We are
however, evaluating systems based on applications being run and repair history to determine
whether or not a new lease is required. Servers at this time are not being leased. We have found
that the usefiil life of a server is usually well over 4-5 years. Upgrades to existing systems can
extend this time period.

Xcoimect, a relatively new DSL technology, is being used to link our Fire and Police Departments
to our Municipal Center. This method allows network coimectivity at greater than T-1 speeds and is
a great cost alternative too running and maintaining our ovm fiber loop between sites. With


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