Perth-Andover fire Chief Philip Walker, Deputy Chief Keith Kinney and several other firefighters attended a regular village council meeting last week to discuss the department’s purchase of a new rescue boat. It would be bought with money raised from the department’s weekly 50-50 draw and could cost as much as $100,000.
The firefighters had suggested specifications for the new boat in a seven-page tender headed ‘Professional Inflatable 19-foot new boat with twin outboard motors’ and outlined everything from the exact size of the boat required to the size of the engines and various accessories.
Walker said that the PAFD needed more features, including more seats, but the company couldn’t install them in that boat. “We decided to start from scratch and ask the company about a boat with the specs we wanted.”
He showed the village officials photos of the boat that met most of those specifications.
“They wanted over $106,000 for it, and through our fundraising, we are able to purchase that,” Walker said.
He added that because of municipal regulations, they have to put it out to tender, which was attached to the council meeting’s agenda.
“We would like to send out that tender and hopefully have it back by the end of December,” Walker said, “and I would like to see it in the fire hall before spring runoff.”
The new boat would not replace the aging one the fire department has but would be added to the equipment so there could be a boat on either side of the river during a flood.
“It will be used at times in the Aroostook River, which has rapids, and in the St. John River above Aroostook, which also has rapids,” Walker said.