The Westport Volunteer Fire Department is faced with a dilemma and we would be grateful to hear your opinion. We are forced to make a decision about what to do with Engine 1.
You may ask “What’s so special about Engine 1?” Engine 1 is the first firefighting vehicle the WVFD purchased as brand new. It was ordered and built in 1963 and is a Ford 600 with a Maynard fire truck Body. The cost was $7,000.
Before it can be allowed on the road again it will cost $1,400 in repairs to make the truck pass State Inspection.
There are a number of considerations before we make a final decision.
First, should the WVFD invest in the truck for the benefit of being driven occasionally in a local parade? It has not been capable enough to be considered a viable firefighting vehicle for years.
Second, we currently don’t have the space in the firehouse to store the truck. Multiple attempts to solicit off site storage have not resulted in anyone willing to donate indoor space. Covered outside storage will cause the truck to deteriorate beyond any residual value .
Third, museums want trucks that were manufactured prior to 1940 or those with significant historic pedigree.
Fourth, Engine 1 is a piece of Westport Island history, and the WVFD is anxious to understand how the townspeople feel about the truck.
We have been contacted by someone who is interested in the truck for limited use for possible fires. The WVFD, as firefighters, would prefer to see the truck serve some useful fire fighting purpose. The Westport Volunteer Fire Department’s Board of Directors has not made a final decision yet. They want to advise the Town Selectmen and you, the community, to see how you feel about the situation. We are very grateful for your consideration and opinion. Please e-mail the Department at WVFD.MAINE@gmail.com. Thank you.
I’ve just finished sending out “Thank You” letters to those people who have responded to our donation letter campaign and donated to our fire department recently. As I was addressing the letters and envelopes, I was struck by how many people who contribute live in virtually every corner of our country. I took particular notice of some of the addresses that came from the Houston/Gulf Coast area, and Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas that have faced or will be facing disasters of their own. But not only people from the East and Gulf coast in harms way, but the families out west who are confronting unheard-of wild fires up and down the West Coast are facing their own disasters.
I want to thank everyone again who have donated to our Fire Department, but I also want to thank those who have supported and donated to those families as well. Our prayers go not only to the disaster victims, but the First Responders and Rescue personnel as well.
It was 6 PM on August 13th, last Sunday afternoon when I was called by a property owner who had smelled smoke and found a woods fire on a neighboring lot. I called 9-1-1 and had my department paged out to respond. While on my way to the scene, I had the Dispatch Center also page out neighboring town fire departments to provide water, manpower and trucks to help us put out the fire. The fire was relatively small (1/2 acre) but it had burned deep into the undergrowth. Two and a half hours later, 39 people, 8 fire trucks, and about 7,000 gallons of water, the fire was out and we were returning home.
Our thanks go to to the Wiscasset, Edgecomb, Alna, Dresden, and Newcastle Fire Departments for all their help on that Sunday afternoon away from their families.
On August 8th, at 9:30 AM, we received information from the County Dispatch center that a boat reported was taking on water in Long Cove on the South-East coast of the island. The department responded immediately and with the help of Harbor Master Bud Gallagher, and assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, Boothbay Harbor, ME, we located the boat (it was actually in Jewett Cove, the cove just to the south of Long Cove). By the time we arrived with de-watering pumps, the boat only had about 2″ of freeboard left before it would have capsized and sunk. Following successful de-watering, the immediate cause of the flooding could not be determined, so again with the assistance of Harbor Master Gallagher and his boat, the craft was towed over to Robinhood Marina in Georgetown where it was hauled out of the water on a travel lift. All Fire Department Personnel and assisting parties returned safely.
Now is the time to think about the upcoming winter season. Please have your chimney cleaned and inspected. This could reduce the possibility of chimney fires which has been known to spread and burn the whole house down. It also may be easier to schedule a chimney cleaning service to come to your home now instad of later.