Maine Distributors, a family-owned beverage distribution business, and Anheuser-Busch, America’s leading brewer, are supplying a total of  9,408 cans of emergency drinking water to Kenduskeag Fire-Rescue, Monroe Fire Department, Grand Lake Stream Fire Department, and Baileyville Fire Department.  

The donations, delivered Sept. 1-2, are part of a national  program for which Anheuser-Busch pauses beer production to can emergency drinking water to help communities around the United States in partnership with the American Red Cross and  National Volunteer Fire Council. Local partners, like Maine Distributors, then deliver these  uniquely designed cans of water each year to Maine first responders.  

Jasper Walsh, beer sales manager at Maine Distributors, who leads this effort locally, says the  program means a lot to his team. “We’ve had staff members over the years who volunteer for their local fire department. Any time there is an accident, fire, or other types of disasters, it’s our first responders that show up for us without fail. In many parts of Maine, that means volunteer fire and EMS crews are who we count on in their time of need.”

Volunteer fire departments in Maine and nationally are  struggling with staffing shortages while resources are stretched like never before. Walsh says  that being a part of this program is a way for Maine Distributors to demonstrate their struggling with staffing shortages while resources are stretched like never before. Walsh says  that being a part of this program is a way for Maine Distributors to demonstrate their appreciation and support of local volunteer firefighters and other first responders by providing  critical hydration resources to those who volunteer to protect our communities.

Walsh and his team delivered water to the Monroe Fire Department and then to Chief  Dakota Bartlett’s team at Kenduskeag Fire-Rescue in the hopes of providing the crew a “pallet” of  their appreciation. Bartlett says that he will share his station’s water with neighboring  crews from Corinth Fire Department and Hudson Volunteer Fire Department. 

Since the inception of the emergency drinking water program in 1988, Anheuser-Busch has  donated more than 86 million cans of clean drinking water to U.S. communities affected by  natural disasters and other crises. In the 3-year partnership with NVFC, Anheuser-Busch has donated more than 3.2 million cans of water to help volunteer firefighters across the country stay hydrated and healthy.