Pet vaccination clinic coming to Poland

Mutual aid accounts for 20% of Durham’s fire and rescue calls

DURHAM — Durham Fire and Rescue chief Robert Tripp told the pickmen on Tuesday that 20% of all department calls are for mutual aid.

So far this year, Durham has responded to Lisbon fires and emergency medical needs 40 times and Lisbon has returned to service 30 times.

Since these things never happen equally, Tripp said, he considers the two cities’ relationship to be healthy, but the same cannot be said for relations with other cities.

“We have an understanding there, with the head of Lisbon EMS, that we don’t bill them and that’s kind of a mutual (agreement),” Tripp said. “But Topsham went like 50 times to a community and received only eight in return.”

Selectman Rich George said he’s concerned Durham may at some point be on the hook for responding to cities that are usually covered by other neighboring departments. Lisbon’s first step for mutual aid is United Ambulance Services, contracted by Lewiston for its emergency medical services needs, but Durham is increasingly being called upon to support Lisbon due to the lack of availability of the private company.

There is an understanding throughout the Androscoggin Valley when mutual aid becomes wildly unequal, Tripp said, it’s no surprise to see a bill in the mail, but Lisbon hasn’t come close to that point. Both cities continue to work well together.

Durham Fire and Rescue does not see as many fires as in the past, but when there are emergencies like this they need the surrounding towns to respond without question.

“I say it to the audience at home who might not realize on a cold Tuesday night that there are eight to ten men standing there helping their neighbors right now,” he said. “We’re good neighbors and I like to keep it in good stead. We don’t depend on others as much as others depend on us… Really passionate people want to help whether it’s Durham, Freeport or Lisbon. They just want to help and do their job.”

In other news, Selectmen has agreed to up to $7,600 for a new wide-format scanner. The scanner will enable him to quickly digitize mapping documents for the city, which has begun to crowd the city’s office and meet the needs of workplace city employees, law enforcement official Alan Plummer said.

The scanner will cost $7,120 and an additional $395 for annual maintenance. The city can also lease to own the equipment over 40 or 60 payment months. George said the lease option is more like a “rent-to-own” deal and that it would be better to buy the scanner outright because the local capital account has the money.

“I asked for samples that I got,” Plummer said. “I had them scan a typical kind of thing . . . they showed me a video of them scanning it. It’s very fast and the quality is perfect. It’s an exact replica, so I’m happy with the quality of the scanner.”

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