Veazie Gives Away Fire Truck 

Catherine Pegram

Some folks Downeast are a bit safer tonight, thanks to firefighters from Veazie. This spring they got a new truck, so today they turned over the keys to another one of their engines to firefighters in Beddington. It was part of a giveaway that got a lot of takers.Deciding to let go of Engine 193 was easy. But choosing which community would get the well-maintained hand-me-down certainly wasn’t.”The town council at the time was hoping that you know we’d get 5 to 6 applying for it and by the time it was said and done, we had about 50 applicants.”Veazie Fire Chief Gerry Martin says he was surprised by the response – and overwhelmed by the needs of his collegues.”We in the area take it for granted that if we don’t get something, then we moan and gripe about it that we don’t have it. But after reading all of the applicants we had, it’s amazing how some of these departments survive. They have literally nothing.”Martin turned to the town council to help make the final decision on the giveaway.”It was really close by 1 vote for 3 departments and even the council said it was one of the hardest decisions to make that they ever had done.”In the end Beddington won the 1980 pumper truck. Chief Michael Loughlin says it’ll replace the one in his department that’s more than 40 years old. “This allows us to move a lot more water and water is the name of the game in firefighting. The more water you can put on a fire at once, the better you are.”The department shares mutual aid response with Deblois and Cherryfield, which means help is at least 15 minutes away when there’s a fire in Beddington. Loughlin says this gift, though, will save property, maybe even lives.”This is a tremendous windfall for our town to get this truck. This is a piece of equipment that is a really big help for us. It’s going to give us the capability that we just plain do not have.” Chief Martin says he hopes other departments who have equipment to spare will considering giving it away, too.