ORONO – A local fire department is doing what it can to help those most affected by social distancing due to the Coronavirus.

Last week, members of the Howland Fire and Ambulance Department visited Orono Commons for a special day of Parking Lot Bingo for residents of the senior living facility.

“I would go down there every month,” Howland Fire Chief Josh McNally said. “It was quite enjoyable.”

Howland currently has a contract with Orono Commons for the ambulance service. On Wednesday, April 29, he and his team were on hand with the ambulance to call out Bingo numbers.

“They (participants) were able to hear with Josh calling the numbers out over the ambulance loudspeakers,” Colleen Fowler said.

Fowler is an employee at the facility, and worked with McNally to create the event. Residents were brought out in small groups of about 10 people and spaced apart in the parking lot per recommended social distancing rules.

“It was very nice and gave them a chance to get some fresh air,” Fowler said.” That is their favorite thing to do besides Bingo.”

McNally said senior living facilities have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. In many cases, residents are confined not just to their wing, but their rooms, in order to protect them from the disease.

The Fire Chief said he plans on working with Cummings Nursing Home in the future for a similar activity with residents there.

“We may have to pull up to the windows,” he said.

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