From ladders to fire hose nozzles, Fort Fairfield firefighters will be better equipped to do their job thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation.
“We really cannot thank The King Foundation enough for this gift,” said Fire Chief
, Vince Baldwin. “The Fort Fairfield Fire Department, like many small departments throughout Maine, has seen its budget shrink while equipment, manpower and other costs continue to rise. This severely impacts our ability to replace equipment as it wears out and to obtain new tools and technology to help us protect residents and our firefighters.”
The $25,000 grant, which was awarded in March, will be used to purchase important firefighting devices including a portable ground monitor, an extension ladder, and a host of various nozzles, adaptors and other fire equipment. In addition to replacing and improving firefighting gear, grant funds will also be used to enhance the safety of firefighters through improved safety signage and emergency lighting.
“While these items are not as flashy as a new boat or thermal imagining camera, these tools are essential for daily operations and are very expensive,” explained Chief Baldwin. “We appreciate Stephen and Tabitha King’s continued support of Maine first responders. These grant funds will go a long way toward improving, not only our response, but our ability to assist other departments in the area.”
Chief Baldwin says an example of the impact this gift will have is as simple as when a tank truck from Fort Fairfield responds to a call in a neighboring community. “Right now, we often are unable to use our equipment effectively because we don’t have fire hose adaptors that allow our hoses to connect with other department’s gear that often is constructed to a different standard,” he explained. “Now, our firefighters will be able to help in an emergency situation without worrying if they have the right equipment because we will have the pieces necessary to make these connections, which will allow us to work together.”
The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation is a private non-profit organization that promotes strengthening and supporting communities and draws upon the values and spirituality of the founders. The Foundation has a special interest in organizations and people who have less recourse to usual channels of resources, focusing on community-based initiatives in the State of Maine.