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2005/05/10 Fire Station Planning Committee report to Town Meeting
Sebago Fire Station Planning Committee Report

At the June 7, 2003 Town Meeting the Town voted to “form a committee comprised of the Fire Chief, 1 Fire Fighter, 1 Budget Committee Member, 1 Selectperson, 1 citizen at large and the Town Manager to study the need and location for a new fire stations or an addition and to report back at the next annual Town Meeting in the form to be voted on at that time.”  The Committee was formed and began meeting in August 2003.

The current members of the Fire Station Planning Committee are:
·       Fire Chief – Chief Ken Littlefield
·       Fire Fighter – Ed Fitzgerald
·       Budget Committee – Mo Russo
·       Selectman – David McCarthy
·       Citizen at large – Maurice Davies
·       Town Manager – David Hague

Committee chair is David McCarthy.

The Committee contracted in February 2004 with the Maine Fire Training and Education (MFT&E) program of the Southern Maine Community College to assess Sebago’s long-term public safety needs, both apparatus and facilities.  The MFT&E consultant was asked to first look at the immediate needs of the fire department.  One of the initial recommendations of the MFT&E consultant was to address the immediate needs for biological and chemical decontamination facilities at the Sebago Fire Department.
At the June 2004 Town Meeting the Town voted $60,000 from the Capital Investment Program to build an addition on the back of Station 1 in Center Sebago which would meet these needs.  This 40’x16’ addition is now under construction by the Fire Fighters, and when completed will provide a training room, bathroom with shower and running water and a small office.  A FY2004 FEMA Assistance to Fire Fighter Grant included $6,000 for a commercial washer and extractor to launder fire fighter turn out gear.  These laundry facilities will also be located at Station 1 and will supplement the CIP funds.

Immediate repair needs for the three Sebago firehouses were also addressed by the MFT&E consultant.  As a consequence, the Town included $17,200 in the FY04-05 operating budget for the Department of Public Works for maintenance of the fire stations, including $12,800 for replacement of the two furnaces at Stations 1 and 3 (North Sebago), repair of the chimney at Station 1 and removal of the old chimney at Station 3, and installation of fire alarm and low temperature sensor systems at the stations.

The Committee met four times in 2004 to review the draft report from the MFT&E consultant and provide comments.  His final report found that “the fire department’s long-term strategy of maintaining an optimum number of up-to-date-apparatus is sound” and included the following recommendations:

1.      Site and construct a single fire station that combines the East (Station 2) and North  Sebago stations and decommission these two stations.  The new fire station should contain upwards of six apparatus bays and provide protection for the Route 114 corridor.

2.      Install fire suppression and detection systems in all public buildings.

3.      Implement an automatic aid program that meets the guidelines of the ISO’s automatic aid requirements.

4.      Replace the 1967 forestry truck as soon as possible.

5.      Replace Tank #1 by 2007 with a pumper/tanker.

6.      Replace Tank #3 by 2010.

7,      Improve the ISO rating for Sebago.

The report also recommends that the process of siting and designing a new facility would be the next step for Sebago, either by the current “Fire Station Planning Committee” or with a new “Sebago Fire Station Building Committee”.

Some of these recommendations have already been implemented or are in the works to do so.  The Fire Station Planning Committee endorses these seven MFT&E consultant recommendations, and will provide a briefing at the June 2005 Town Meeting with further information and specific Committee recommendations.  

The Committee recommends that the Town approve Warrant Article #19:

To see if the Town will vote to accept the recommendations of the Fire House Committee and direct the Selectmen to begin the process of developing a new emergency services building for the Town of Sebago through the Capital Investment Program with recommendations to be brought back to Town Meeting in June 2007. (Selectmen so recommend.)

Respectfully submitted:

David McCarthy, Ken Littlefield, Ed Fitzgerald, Mo Russo, Maurice Davies, David Hague