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Limestone Fire Department buys new Polaris Ranger for rescue efforts

LIMESTONE, Maine — The Limestone volunteer firefighters’ hard work with fundraisers and gathering donations has finally paid off, allowing them to purchase a $13,000 4-wheel drive, all season, 2018 Polaris Ranger utility vehicle to assist in rescue efforts, such as in remote fields and forests in both summer and winter. 

On Wednesday night, town officials formally accepted the department’s donation of the vehicle to the community, allowing the rig to be covered under Limestone’s municipal insurance policy.

Interim Town Manager Tom Stevens said before the meeting that the utility vehicle will still be used by the fire department, but now it is officially owned and insured by the town.

After Selectboard Chair Tom Albert motioned to accept the department’s donation, Selectperson Melissa Devoe asked Limestone Fire Chief Jon Poitras to clarify why the donation was necessary.

The chief said that the donation was primarily for insurance purposes, adding that the town formally has to accept any donations to the department, even if it was a new fire truck bought by the department with federal grant money.

He said the utility vehicle comes with a set of tracks for winter traveling and getting to snowmobile accidents, and that it significantly saves on “footwork in the field,” while rescuing victims of fires.

“The money for the vehicle was raised from volunteer firefighters each year when we do 4th of July activities,” he said. “Those funds are put away each year for for large projects that may otherwise be out of reach. It’s hard to purchase a $13,000 machine through taxes, so we’ve worked diligently to purchase this and are fortunately able to commit that donation to [the town] tonight.”

With the new vehicle, Limestone’s volunteer fire department will be retiring its two-wheel drive John Deere Gator utility vehicle.

The chief said the machine was purchased from Chandler Farms Polaris in Presque Isle at a discounted rate, and that “it probably costs upward of $16,000 for the regular customer.”

Following the chief’s explanation, all selectboard members were in favor of accepting the donation.

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