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Thank you to Laconia’s excellent firefighters and EMTs

To The Daily Sun,

This letter is in regard to our fantastic firefighters that hold paramedic certifications and EMT certifications.

We moved to Laconia in December 2014. The following August, my husband, Carl, suffered a stroke and 911 was called. The response time was only minutes and the men were efficient and knew exactly what needed to be done. He returned home from a rehab center on Sept. 25, 2015, and we had to call 911 twice the early hours of the next day. He again went to another rehab facility and returned home October 2015. He recovered further due to surgery that caused the stroke and was able to "get on with his life."

He had to make a decision to have further surgery to prevent another stroke and that was done in March of this year. He was home, doing well for two weeks when he suffered what was believed to be a seizure and we had to call 911 at 3 a.m. on April 7. It took four of our great firefighters with training to get him back to LRGH. He remained there for a few days and then went to Laconia Rehab Center, where remained for a short time, when it was necessary to return to LRGH. After another three-day stay, he then again returned to the Rehab Center. This past week, on May 11, again the Laconia paramedics were summoned and he was sent to the ER at LRGH. Unfortunately, we were unaware of just how severe my husband's condition was, and he passed away in the early hours of May 12.

I want people to know and understand how badly this Laconia team is needed. They are professional and know exactly what needs to be done in severe situations, as what we experienced.

My thanks go out to all of the Laconia firefighters, especially for the training they receive to perform their jobs. Never doubt their capabilities, and they deserve all our support for increases in salaries that they receive, and more.

Thank you!

Carol Nordquist

Laconia

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Please show up Monday at county meeting on jail request

To The Daily Sun,

On Monday, May 22, there will be a County Convention meeting that is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the County Conference room at the County Complex. At approximately 7 p.m. the County Commissioners will request a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $136,455 needed to hire three correctional officers and one correctional sergeant in the Department of Corrections. The main reason for this request is to provide adequate staffing to maintain safety and security within the existing jail facility and our new 18,410 square foot Community Corrections Center.

The Community Corrections Center is scheduled to begin operations this September with its primary focus being our Corrections Opportunity for Recovery and Education (CORE) program. This program is designed to provide counseling, education and treatment for sentenced inmates who have been assessed to be at high-risk for substance misuse and a return to criminal activity.

With every sentenced inmate returning into our communities once released, the CORE program is designed to assist in the re-entry process to enable them to remain out of jail and become productive, healthy citizens.

In November 2015 the County Convention voted 15-0 in favor of an $8 million bond to construct the Community Corrections Center. The plan included information regarding additional staff and programming costs estimated to be $650,183. The additional staffing requirement will be the focus of the supplemental appropriation request. It is my opinion that the additional staff is vital to maintaining proper care, custody and control of the inmate population and provide for a safe and secure environment for my correctional officers. Without these new officers, I could not recommend opening the new building to the Board of Commissioners.

Prior to the County Convention meeting, at 4 p.m., I will provide a short presentation about the Community Corrections Center and our CORE program along with information regarding the staffing needs of the Department of Corrections. There will be a tour of the center following this presentation. I am inviting all Belknap County citizens to attend this presentation to ask questions and become informed of our mission.

Many local residents have expressed their support to me for our plan to give hope back to many of us negatively impacted by the current opioid crisis.

I am asking for your support once again. Please show up next Monday and speak with our delegates. Let them know you support the Community Corrections Center and our CORE program. The additional funds being requested will ensure we are able to safely and efficiently provide the services so many of our local residents desperately need.

Keith Gray
Superintendent
Belknap County Department of Corrections

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