Salem Fire Department Welcomes Newest Team Member

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Firefighter Jeff Quesnell

Firefighter/paramedic Jeff Quesnell is not new to fire service, but he is the newest addition to Salem Fire Department.  Originally employed with the Campton/Thornton Fire Department, Jeff had heard many great things about Salem Fire Department.  Once he caught word of a single opening for a firefighter/paramedic at Salem Fire he did not hesitate to apply for the position and sent his resume on its way to Chief Kevin Breen.

Normally there is a very long list of names waiting for that call from Salem Fire for a chance at the interview process with one of the greatest fire service organizations in New Hampshire.  That waiting list can be over a yearlong at times.  Jeff got a lucky a chance, not waiting on that list, as he was exactly what the department was looking for.  “I was lucky…very lucky.  I saw the opening, did the research, applied and was very excited to be given the opportunity to begin a career with Salem Fire Department,” Jeff said.

So what was it that Jeff had that Salem Fire was looking for?  A paramedic.  Jeff has been focused on EMS and fire service since his 2000 graduation from high school.  At age 18 he took his first EMT class and truly enjoyed the work.  From there he went on to attend New Hampshire Technical Institute earning his Associate’s Degree in Paramedic Emergency Medicine.  Once Jeff signed on with the Campton/Thornton Fire Department he attended New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord, earning his C2F2 (Career Level Firefighter 2).

His career in emergency medicine has not just been limited to fire service.  Jeff has also worked in ski patrol, and was also an EMT at Speare Memorial Hospital of Plymouth, Loudon Speedway and for a private ambulance service.  It was however his time spent with the Campton/Thornton Fire Department that started his career in fire service, ultimately leading him to serving the Salem Community.

Jeff has certainly appreciated the warm welcome he has received from the team at Salem Fire Department.  Jeff said, “Chief Breen and Chief Parisi have made me feel very welcome and very wanted.  I came in the door excited to be here.  I feel I will fit in well here and I am happy to be part of an organization that is so welcoming.  It’s been a great initial introduction.  I’m familiar with fire service but every department is a little different.  My first weeks here have been learning the standard operations procedures here, which enables me to come in and be a better team member.  When the guys on the line need me I can get the needed tools, set up, and do what needs to be done.”

Until this week, Jeff was completing his department training with fire training officer Lt. Tim Kenney.  So his typical day at Salem Fire consisted of checking in with the Lieutenant, getting out to the floor to see if there was anything he could help with, conducting vehicle and equipment checks, and learning the Salem EMS operations procedures, squad operations and equipment, and becoming more familiar with Salem’s North Salem Station and Lawrence Road Station.  This week though, Firefighter/paramedic Jeff Quesnell is officially “on the line.”

Jeff is looking forward to a long career with Salem Fire.  His short-term goals are to settle in with the department and start serving the Salem community.  He said, “I want to gain real experience before I go anywhere.  My immediate goals are to settle in, learn what my role is going to be and what I can do to assist the team.  My medical skills are my strongest area, as everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.  Eventually though, if the opportunity arises, I would love to move up to line officer.”

Jeff plans to keep all educational opportunities wide open.  “At the very least I will earn my Bachelor’s Degree either in biology or in business or finance.  Right now gaining more experience as a paramedic is the present educational opportunity.  More important is the opportunity given to me to serve the Salem community and its residents, by providing emergency medical care when they need it.”

Team players are important in fire service.  Jeff has that team player drive, which has landed him with the best fire service team in our area.  Some qualities simply cannot be overlooked.  What he has to offer to the community has made the outstanding team at Salem Fire Department that much more outstanding.

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Dollars for Scholars

by Robyn Hatch

Amy Landry and Shayla Mccaron

Salem/Windham ‘Dollars for Scholars’ held its annual Phone-a-Thon last Sunday through Tuesday, and it will continue this Sunday, February 15.  This Phone-a-Thon is one of the main fundraisers that students participate in to secure money for direct scholarships to seniors of Salem High and to seniors who are Salem residents attending other high schools.

Salem/Windham ‘Dollars for Scholars’ is one of 353 local chapters of the national organization ‘Citizens Scholarship Foundation of America Inc.’ (CSFA).  Dollars for Scholars maintains a scholarship fund for new high school graduates in need of financial assistance.  All funds remain at the local level.

Each year, scholarships are granted to Salem graduating seniors on the basis of merit, with the amount of the award based on the financial needs of the student.  Dollars for Scholars seeks to help students obtain technical, vocational, or other specialized training, as well as college degrees.

Over the past 25 years, Salem/Windham Dollars for Scholars has awarded over one million dollars in scholarships.  Each year, the Phone-a-Thon has been one of the largest money makers, with 100 percent of the money going directly into scholarships.

Last year, the Phone-a-Thon raised over $10,000, and the organization gave scholarships totaling over $68,000.  Other fundraising comes from the Memorial Funds (in memory of citizens from the community), the annual Walk-a-Thon in June, the Dinner Dance (held this year on March 7 at the Atkinson Country Club), and the 10 Texas Hold ’Em nights at Rockingham Park.

Look for the organization at its new Website,  Any donations can be added there to help students who will attend college.  There are even former recipients on the Board of Directors.  Please log on and make a donation to help Salem students.

The Board consists of volunteers from Salem’s business and professional community, working together with students to reach the goal of providing as much scholarship aid as possible.

Thank you Dollars for Scholars for helping these Salem students!

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The Rock

by Robyn Hatch

A Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event was held at Rockingham Park on Friday, February 6.

MMA, the fastest growing professional sport in America, was at Rockingham Park for a major event showcasing the best talent from New Hampshire and Massachusetts doing battle in the cage.

Presented by Combat Zone and sponsored by Bud Light and Monster Energy Drink, there was a full card of 10 to 12 professional and amateur fights sanctioned by the New Hampshire State Boxing Commission.  Calvin Kattar (5-1-0) and Nate Kamote (8-4-0), two of the best-known fighters in the area, who both train in New Hampshire, will be showcased as they try to improve on their records and move up in the ranks of MMA.

The exciting and action-filled fights were held in the Sports Club at the racetrack.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank.  This was a night not to be missed!

Claudio Rene and Dan Lepore

Kenny Rodriquez and Rick Corrigan

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Barron Dance

by Robyn Hatch

This is so much fun!

Barron Grammar School has just begun their 5th grade Ballroom Dance classes with Artist in Residence Debra Ulbrich.  Debra is also the owner of Krystal Ballroom in Salem.  These dancers are learning swing, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, line dances, and more.  The classes are on Tuesdays and Fridays, with the culminating performance being part of a talent show to take place at Salem High School.  Watching the energy coming from these kids is really exciting.  Even though they have just started with their dancing skills, Debra makes them all look like pros.  Good luck with the talent show!

Abbey, Colleen, and Sarah are enjoying a good laugh.

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