The Fire Department has cut the cord — at  least when it comes to its extrication equipment.

Stockton Springs Fire Chief Vern Thompson brought new cordless JAWS tools to the morning meeting of selectmen Dec. 6. He said it did not cost the town a thing, because the purchase was covered by a $22,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation.

Initially, the department applied for a $30,000 grant, but that request was rejected, he said. Another request, this time for $22,000, was approved.

Selectman Peter Curley said the King Foundation has been a great help in funding several projects in the town.

Thompson noted the department already has JAWS equipment but using it requires several people — one to operate the tool and two or more to manage the air compressor cord and compressor. The old equipment will remain on one of Stockton's trucks and continue to be used, he said.

The cordless extrication equipment will allow firefighters more ease of access to crashed vehicles on steep slopes or at strange angles, Thompson said. Lights included on the front of the equipment make it easier to see exactly what is being cut or lifted.

"It'll actually pick up a car off the ground," he said.

Selectman Betsy Bradley commented, "I hope you never have to use them."

Thompson said there are a lot of accidents in town. With the extrication equipment, he said, "doors are no problem; hinges are no problem."

Selectmen wondered about the life of the cordless, rechargeable batteries during use at crash scenes. Thompson said during a training, three entire cars were dismantled without draining the batteries. Spares will be kept in the fire trucks as well.