2013 was another productive year for the Islesford Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD). Jeremy Alley, Katelyn Damon and I spent January and February relentlessly researching our options for a new pumper truck. After hours of exploration, we finally found the one which we thought would be the best fit for our department and the best value for the town. We presented this on the floor at Town Meeting and the voters overwhelmingly supported it. We anxiously awaited the truck's arrival in early November. We held an open house to give the community a chance to look over the truck. The following day a trained technician from E-One (the company that we purchased the truck from) traveled from Rhode Island to train the department. It is quite an upgrade from our old 1977 pumper, but after a day of training on it we were all feeling pretty comfortable. I would like to thank everyone again who supported us in this endeavor. It is a huge step forward for the future of our department.

The IVFD held a very successful training on Sutton Island this past spring. We walked the island to familiarize ourselves with the trails and location of houses. Thank you to Rick Alley, who shared his geographical knowledge of the island with the rest of the department for this training.

Katelyn Damon, Jim Amuso and I met with APSI (The Association for the Preservation of Sutton Island) this past summer and discussed the 911 system, fire safety and fire prevention. We recently purchased a portable pump, which we will leave on Sutton for three seasons. This will prevent us from having to lug heavy and cumbersome equipment over from Islesford in the event of an emergency.

As well as working with Sutton Island, we held a successful training on Great Cranberry in August. With the help of Blair Colby, Norman Sanborn, and Mark Alley, the IVFD was given a full tour of the island and learned some of the roads that we were not familiar with. We look forward to working closely with the Great Cranberry Island fire department in the future.

Cote Hadlock completed the grueling six-month Hancock County Fire Academy in June. He graduated as a certified interior firefighter, as well as earning his Firefighter I and II. I would like to thank Cote for his hard work and dedication to the department.

None of what we have accomplished would be possible without the town's Public Safety Coordinator, Katelyn Damon. She helped us research and plan for our new truck, even up until she was days away from giving birth to Elliot. She has been instrumental in keeping our paperwork up to date and is the glue that holds our department together. The town is lucky to have her.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of the members of the IVFD, whom I have listed below. They give up a lot of time in their ever-busy lives to serve us all. Jeremy Alley, Assistant Chief; David Thomas, President; Allan McCormick, Treasurer; Katelyn Damon, Secretary; Jim Amuso, Cote Hadlock, Will Palmer, Jason Pickering, Nick Hadlock, Rick Alley, Roy Hadlock, Ted Spurling, and Bruce Fernald.

Please remember: The best way to fight fire is with prevention. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year, inspect your fire extinguishers, and keep your chimney clean. In the event of an emergency, dial 911. Thank you for supporting the IVFD. I look forward to serving the town in 2014.

Richard Howland
Zone 2 Fire Chief