The New Fairfield Board of Selectmen has approved the purchase of a new boat for the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department. Replacement of Marine 1 had been planned for later, but an agreement was made to donate the old boat to the Candlewood Lake Authority.
$106,250 from town contributions to the fire department’s apparatus reserve fund will be used, with the Fire Department footing the balance, about $39,000.
Ball Pond Volunteer Fire Company 1st Lt Chris Gardner says the current boat, which was gifted to the police department before being donated to the fire department, is useful for getting on the lake and transporting personnel and equipment. But he says it's not practical for rescues. The new boat will allow on-the-water medical attention to be provided while transporting patients back to land.
New Fairfield responds to the most lake-related calls of all the five surrounding towns.
Three bids were submitted, but two were over budget and the boat was too big. Connor Industries, also known as Stanley Boats, was selected. The new Marine 1 will have a roll-up door, lighting and other equipment.
Gardner says COVID-related supply chain problems drove prices up 15 to 20 percent, and there's a long wait.