Freeport council OKs defibrillators sought by Fire Department

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FREEPORT — The Town Council Tuesday approved the purchase of new automatic external defibrillators for the Fire Department.

Councilors accepted a donation of just under $8,500 for the purchase of the AEDs, which was previously discussed at the Aug. 12 council meeting.

With the donations, Deputy Fire Chief Paul Conley will purchase four AEDs and cabinets. At the Aug. 12 meeting, the total donation amount had been at just under $7,800. Since then, the AED account has received additional donations.

“This is truly a community effort,” Conley said. “I’m just spearheading it to make it happen.”

AEDs are machines that can save the lives of people experiencing cardiac arrest. Conley previously said his top priorities will be to get machines into the Freeport Community Center, all Freeport schools, and the Freeport Performing Arts Center.

Conley said the town needs six AEDs, but can only afford four at this time. Each machine plus its cabinet costs $1,700.

During the public hearing, Conley was asked if the Fire Department has taken into consideration the cost of replacing batteries and maintaining the AEDs. Conley said he has, and that the battery in each AED has approximately a two-year life. He said a couple hundred dollars per machine has been worked into the budget for every couple of years.

Storm damage

The aftermath of an Aug. 13 storm was discussed by Town Manager Peter Joseph as part of his report.

Joseph said Freeport received 6 inches of rain that night, with Upper Mast Landing Road receiving some of the most significant damage to public property. He said Turkey Ridge Lane, however, had the most damage and was completely washed away. Because it is a private road, however, the town can’t help to repair it.

As of Aug. 27, Turkey Ridge Lane resident Elizabeth Toothaker said she didn’t know how she could afford to repair the road, but according to Joseph, a company has reached out to her and neighbor Arleen Siegert-Young. CPM Constructors in Freeport has donated private funds to the two residents.

Toothaker said costs could be anywhere from $45,000-$85,000 to rebuild the road. After the storm, a 25-foot deep ravine was created, blocking access to her home. Toothaker also has a Go Fund Me page to raise money. As of Sept. 2, $1,105 had been donated.

In other business, councilors noted there will be a road closure on Saturday, Sept. 6, for the Lobsterman Triathlon. Staples Point Road will close at 7:15 a.m. until the race is finished in the early afternoon. Motorists should also be aware of runners and cyclists on South Freeport Road, Lower Mast Landing Road, Flying Point Road, and Pleasant Hill Road.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.