CLA donates pontoon boat to Greenwood

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By Alison Aloisio

Greenwood selectmen decided last week to accept a gift of a pontoon boat from the Community Lakes Association for the Fire Department to possibly use on ponds and the Androscoggin River.

Fire Chief Al Curtis said the CLA no longer plans to use the boat for its milfoil eradication efforts, because the organization instead contracts out for the work.

Curtis said the boat has potential to function as a fire boat on the ponds in Greenwood.

“If we have a fire on the islands, we can actually get out there and have a fire boat to get to it,” he said.

He also said the boat might be useful in fighting a fire on the back side of Twitchell Pond, where the last camps on the road can be difficult to access with fire trucks.

Curtis also said there is a possibility of using the boat for river rescues on the Androscoggin. Boat traffic on the river “is getting to be more like the Saco River, floating down from Gilead all the way to Rumford Point,” he said.

If an accident happened, said Curtis, the small boats of the area fire departments might not be adequate to handle the situation.

“Pontoon boats are already in the river,” he said. “They’re floating up and down all the time.”

The selectmen wondered about the logistics of getting a GFD pontoon boat into the water in time to be helpful, but Curtis said it would be worth checking it out as an option in some situations.

He said the boat has sat idle in recent years, and he needs to determine if the motor will run. He said a marina in Norway has offered to evaluate it at no charge.

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