In about a year, a new firetruck will call Gardiner home.

On Wednesday, Maine’s U.S. senators jointly announced that three communities had been awarded money under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gardiner’s share, $333,334, via the Vehicle Acquisition grant, will help pay for an engine that will replace one that’s nearly 30 years old.

Gardiner Fire Chief Al Nelson told the Gardiner City Council earlier this month that he had indications the grant would come through, but he had received no official notification. On Wednesday, he said he expected to receive the approval later this week.

“Now I have a whole list of things I need to do,” he said. The list includes meeting with grant representatives, finalizing the list of specifications for the truck, and putting the truck out to bid.

The truck could take from six to nine months to build, so depending on the schedule of the manufacturer that wins the bid, the truck could be delivered by next spring, he said.


Nelson submitted the application in January, pledging $200,000 in city funds to match the requested $350,000.

It was his second attempt to secure those funds. A year earlier, he said, he had submitted a grant proposal with a much smaller match and had been rejected.

This engine will come with safety features and technology that did not exist in 1987. The engine will have air bags, roll cages and three-point seat belts. It’s also expected to have winches on all four sides to help with extrications, and a rooftop lighting system.

The Limestone Fire Department was awarded a $120,000 Operations and Safety grant, and the Scarborough Fire Department will receive a $118,547 Regional Request grant.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which ultimately falls under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was created to help fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations buy equipment, gear and vehicles, as well as acquire training and other resources, to help responders do their jobs.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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