HOWLAND – The local fire Department received a big boost to it’s bottom line last week, as it was awarded a $20,000 grant.

The money, which was awarded from and unnamed source, is earmarked for a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) fill station.

”We’ve never had a way to fill our air packs,” Fire Chief Josh McNally said during an interview Thursday. “We have limited certain trainings that we do because of it.”

He said in the past the department has had to rely on either Lincoln or Passadumkeag to fill used air bottles, adding that if a bottle has been used at all, it is a violation of state law to put it back on a truck.

”What we are finding out now about firefighting and carcinogens, we are really making an effort as soon as we step off the truck we are using protective equipment,” he said.

Teana Smart, Mcnally said was instrumental in acquiring the grant.

”I really want to brag on her,” he said, adding that Smart had applied for the grant back in January.

The Howland Fire Department has received $25,000 in two months in grant funding. McNally estimates his team has been awarded and estimated $75,000 since he joined.

Smart applied to the grant for SCBA fill station prior to the department receiving Passadumkeag’s station this summer after that department was dissolved during a special town vote.

The grant notification was one of two pieces of good news received by employees of the town’s public safety department  On Thursday, a set of equipment lockers were also installed, courtesy of the Hermon Fire Department.

”It is another case in point of how networking with other departments is beneficial,” McNally said.



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