June 25, 2018
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Investigation: Portland fireboat used mostly for nonemergencies

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — An investigation has found that more than two-thirds of the trips made last year by the Portland Fire Department’s three boats were for nonemergency purposes.

The Portland Press Herald reviewed city records following an incident earlier this month in which the $3.2 million City of Portland IV fireboat sustained $38,000 in damage when it hit an underwater object. Two firefighters were suspended following the incident. The trip was described as a training exercise, but 12 civilians were on board at the time.

Records for 2010 show 547 “service runs” to ferry city employees or make other nonurgent trips transporting civilians, and 239 emergency runs for medical or fire calls.

Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne has ordered a review of policies following the Oct. 15 accident.

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