July 16, 2020

Computer gift to aid Rockland firefighters

ROCKLAND — The computer age has even come to firetrucks.

When city crews approach fire situations, especially those involving hazardous waste, they will be guided by a computer. The hardware and sophisticated software were presented Monday night to the Fire Department by officials of the FMC Corp., one of the city’s largest industries.

“Having a well-trained and responsive fire department is critical to running a business. As technology moves ahead, we must move with it,” said FMC Manager Mike Stumbo. “I think this is an ideal way to demonstrate the partnership between the city and our company.”

Fire Chief Ray Wooster said the department now has hazardous-material information on the department computer. But having the information on a portable computer in the firetrucks will be an invaluable aid in future emergencies. The department can develop even more emergency preplanning for critical areas and have it available at a moment’s notice to firefighters on the scene.

“FMC has always been very supportive and cooperative with the department,” Wooster said. “This computer will greatly enhance our firefighting capabilities.”

William Libby of the Maine Emergency Management Agency, representing Gov. Angus King, said the donation was “a perfect example of the private-public partnership which is encouraged by the governor.” FMC and other hazardous-waste handlers pay fees to the state that are returned to the counties for local training, Libby said.

“This is an outstanding example of good community neighbors,” said Rayna B. Leibowitz, senior hazardous-material planner for the state agency. “FMC has set the standards for leadership and we all can be proud of their effort. It could serve as an example for the rest of the state.”

The computer is a “state-of-the-art” tool for the city’s Fire Department, said City Manager Richard Michaud. “It is a real enhancement to the city department.”

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