Editors Note: This article was published originally in the Lincoln News by Tony Hallett. (Image Credit: Tony Hallett of Lincoln News)
HOWLAND – The town’s fire chief was present at the regular Saturday 7 a.m. selectmen’s meeting in Passadumkeag last week to discuss expanding the coverage area of the quickly growing department.
“It was all positive,” Chief Josh McNally said.
McNally was invited to discuss the town’s ambulance coverage and possibly taking over for Lincoln ambulance, which is operated by East Millinocket. When Penobscot Valley Hospital dissolved its ambulance service, Passadumkeag opted to go with Lincoln as Howland was not fully staffed with paramedics and was unable to offer the 24/7 coverage it now provides.
Now that Howland has expanded its ambulance department, McNally said response times to Passadumkeag, which is only five miles away, would be quicker than emergency vehicles traveling from Lincoln.
Last week, Howland responded to 10 EMS calls in town alone. The fire department provided mutual aid to Lincoln during a Transalpine Road fire and assisted LaGrange during a Tuesday morning fire.
As the department continues to grow, it also explores more ways to save town taxpayers money. Most recently, McNally said, the department has found a way to save expenses associated with the department’s radios.
“Captain Eric St. Cyr works with Motorola,” McNally said. “We can now program our own radios and save the town some money.”