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The Fire Department answered a total of 117 calls for assistance during the 1998 calendar year. Twelve regular training sessions, four regular meetings, and two special training sessions were held.

More than 1100 hours have been "volunteered" this past year by your firefighters. This amount equals our paid time. Without this additional help, all the tests mentioned in the paragraph below could not have been completed.

All fire pumps were "flow and pressure" tested to be sure they perform to specifications. The 21/2" hose as well as our 4" and 5" hose has been pressure tested as required. Most all of the dry hydrants were checked and flushed during the spring and fall.

We will be asking for a new fire engine this year at the annual Town Meeting. It will replace our Engine 1, a 1971 Ford, (mileage 8,932), which has a 500 gallon steel water tank that has started to leak. Our tanker, the 1972 GMC, (mileage 63,115), has motor problems. It is running on five cylinders because of two badly burnt valves, which makes quick response impossible. Also, the transmission has some badly worn gears making it difficult to shift. We plan to remove the tank and body from Engine 1 and install the 2000-gallon aluminum water tank from the 1972 GMC onto Engine 1's cab and chassis.

I have had many requests to hold another Hazardous Waste Day. The last one, which was held in October 1997, was very well utilized, with more than 135 households taking part. I have requested an appropriation of funds to schedule another Hazardous Waste Day this fall.

We have burned more than 26,000 gallons of used motor oil in the waste oil furnace since it was installed in November of 1989. Because recycling is becoming a "way of life," I would encourage everyone to bring their waste oil to the Fire Station on Sunday mornings between 9 AM and 12 NOON.

It has been a pleasure to work with our new Town Administrator, Linda Sanders. Working together, we are hoping to get some State grants, primarily for water holes.

Many of our water holes are in need of some serious work, primarily dredging. Hopefully, with the help of the Conservation Commission, this will be addressed this summer.

In closing, I thank the Assistant Chiefs, Dave Joseph, Wayne Stacy, and Walt Hanson, as well as all the members of the Fire Department, for their continued help and support. Also a special "Thank You" to the Highway Department for an excellent job of snow removal and assistance at our day time fires, to our dispatchers, the Police Department, the Ambulance Crew, and to the Civil Defense Department for their help and cooperation. With all departments working together we are able to provide our citizens the protection and care that they deserve.


Respectfully submitted,

Elmer S. Fitzgerald, Jr.