HENNIKER — The fire department and the community have come together to honor the memory of a fallen firefighter through the purchase of an off-road vehicle designed to save lives.
On Nov. 10, 2013, Scott Davison, 40, a 17-year veteran of the Henniker Fire Department, was killed when his truck struck a tree in Hopkinton. Davison, who served as assistant road agent in Henniker, was traveling on Pine Street in Contoocook village just after midnight when the accident occurred.
People throughout the community were shaken by Davison’s death because he was such a familiar face in Henniker, said Fire Chief Keith Gilbert.
“He was well-known by everybody,” Gilbert said. “Scott was a good guy. He was always cheerful and had a nice word for everybody.”
Though saddened by Davison’s passing, the fire department rallied to find a way to honor their fellow firefighter that celebrated who he was as a person. Davison’s family had asked that donations in memory of Davison be made to the Henniker Firefighters Association, and building off that generosity, the fire department continued to raise money for the purchase of a special off-road vehicle.
“Scott liked going off-road on four-wheelers and Jeeps,” said the chief, “so we decided to raise money to purchase a UTV (utility terrain vehicle) for the department.”
The vehicle, which was ordered recently, allows emergency responders to travel through the woods or on unmaintained roads in order to reach an accident scene or a brush fire. The UTV allows two people to sit side-by-side and has room for a stretcher on back for transporting patients.
“We have a lot of snowmobile trails in Henniker and we have had to respond to a lot of incidents involving snowmobilers,” said Gilbert. “We also have a very active ATV club and miles of unmaintained roads in town. This vehicle will give us a mechanism for responding to accidents or brush fires in those places.”
The department has raised enough through donations to purchase the UTV, said Gilbert, and they’re waiting for delivery. The chief said he was surprised and grateful for the overwhelming community response, which he said was an acknowledgement of what Davison and his brethren in the fire services give to their communities.
But the department is trying to raise an additional $6,000 to outfit the vehicle with emergency equipment, including a litter for carrying accident victims over difficult terrain on the back of the rig.
“We’re still working towards that,” said Gilbert. “We were able to raise around $10,500 for the UTV and we all pitched in the rest that we needed to buy it, but the equipment like the litter will help us when we’re responding to off-road accidents.”