County using ARPA funds for Boothbay EMT training program

Wed, 01/05/2022 - 1:45pm

    Boothbay Region Ambulance Service hopes to attract more emergency medical technicians through a free training course. BRAS and Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor planned on paying for the $1,200 per person training. But Lincoln County commissioners had another idea. Commissioners voted 3-0 Jan. 4 to pay for up to 20 participants in the county-wide program.

    County Emergency Management Agency Director Casey Stevens first requested using federal American Recovery Plan Act stimulus funds to attract more participants into the program. BRAS officials told him about the joint-venture with the local Rotary to pay for Boothbay region participants. So he inquired about opening the training to others in the nearby Wiscasset region and remaining parts of the county. 

    Originally, officials estimated 12-15 students in the program. Stevens believes opening the program countywide may bring numbers to the maximum limit of 20. The course is taught by United Ambulance of Lewiston. Jason Downing will provide virtual instruction. 

    Stevens also received commissioners’ approval to enter into an updated mutual aid agreement with Maine’s other 15 counties and buy new software. A statewide mutual aid agreement between all of Maine’s counties had been in effect since 2012. The new agreement runs through 2025. “This one is shorter, but it is exactly what you’d expect. We would receive assistance from other counties at their expense during a crisis, and we would respond to a crisis, in another county, at our expense,” he said.

    Commissioners voted 3-0 to authorize buying Decisions 4 Heroes computer software’s $3,500 subscription. Stevens reported his agency, communications center and first responders throughout Lincoln County used the software. 

    In other action, commissioners upgraded the sheriff’s hiring incentive program from a trial program into an official one. The program resulted in hiring two new officers last year: Owen Beattie and Jeffrey Rogers. Besides upgrading the program, commissioners approved the first installment of both officers’ incentive, and one for Jerold Winslow who made a referral. 

    Brackett received approval to buy three Panasonic Semi-tough Laptop computers totaling $8,290.09 for police cruisers.

    Lincoln County Communications received approval to conditionally hire a new 911 emergency dispatcher. Heather Shipley-Murphy of Wiscasset will join the department upon successful completion of a background check. 

    Register of Probate Catherine Moore received authorization to raise three fees. Commissioners approved increased passport photo fees from $10 to $15, certified mail charges from $30 to $35, and newspaper notices from $30 to $35.

    County Administrator Carrie Kipfer received approval for two purchase orders. One is for Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission’s Brownfield remediation in Westport Island. The county will pay Ransom Consulting of Portland $3,645.47 for the project manager, geologist and mapping work done on the old dump. 

    The county will also pay a Syracuse, New York firm $46,000 to digitize the county’s remaining deed records books being stored in the state archives in Augusta. Info Quick Solutions (IQS) will digitize volumes 1-427 of deed books numbering over 200,000 pages, according to Kipfer. 

    Commissioners authorized payment to Steele Landscaping of Wiscasset for $17,000 for the annual snow plowing contract. Commissioners held an executive session discussing three expired labor contracts. 

    Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18 in the county courthouse.