SANBORNTON — An unidentified Perkins Road woman was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital by ambulance Saturday at 6 p.m. after she rolled-over a snowmobile she was driving and broke her leg.
Fire Chief Paul Dexter said the said the woman was riding on private property and carrying a child with her when the snowmobile slipped sideways. Dexter said she tried to put her foot down to stop the slide but the machine rolled on to her.
Dexter said the woman was transported to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia by Tilton-Northfield Fire Department. The child was unharmed.
He said the timing of the accident came at a time when the Sanbornton Fire Department has few call firefighters at hand. He said four of them responded after a third tone by Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid but the response time by Sanbornton was poor and Tilton-Northfield had already been asked to respond.
"It was a rough call," he said, noting that a paramedic was needed for pain control and the woman needed to be carried in a litter about 400 feet through some very deep snow.
The Sanbornton Fire Department has three paramedics, however all of them were working at their primary jobs or were unavailable at 6 p.m. that Saturday.
Dexter said there are two times during the day when staffing levels are poor — from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 4 p.m., when the day staff leaves until 7 p.m. when the night crew signs it. He typically takes the calls from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
He had asked for two full-time firefighters to help cover the gaps in coverage during the most recent budget year but the voters narrowly rejected the warrant article.
When asked about mutual aid, he said that in order for mutual aid to work, a town must be willing to support its own firefighting and emergency needs.
"When we're tied up on a call and we get a second call, that's when we depend on mutual aid," Dexter said.
He said surrounding communities shouldn't be first the responders to any Sanbornton incidents unless the town's fire and rescue crews are already at another incident.
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