WEST PARIS — Bob Hand, director of PACE Paramedic Service and West Paris Fire Chief Troy Billings were present at the December 13 meeting of the West Paris board of Selectmen to answer questions regarding First Responder Certification within the West Paris Fire Department.

Hand informed the board that many towns have first responders through the fire service. Hand said, “Having first responders can help save a life.”

First responders training is 80 hours and would cost the town $650 per person for those with no previous emergency medical training. Billings stated that the Fire Department already had a paramedic, three advanced EMTs and two basic EMTS. The certification and insurance would cost $517 per year for these individuals. Billings stated that he and Deputy Chief Eric Poland have discussed it, and have no plan of funding training for anyone.

Piirainen stated, “I am intrigued by the idea of first responders.” Adding, “We can present it to the folks at town meeting and if they agree to it, it would be a responsible thing to do.”

Selectman Mike Grass informed the selectboard that the Water District met and that there will be a 29 percent increase to the taxpayer. “The cost (of the Pioneer Street Project) was $150,000 more than what we were told,” said Grass, “Taxes will go up again.” He stated that the Water District Trustees did not foresee an increase in 2020.

The selectmen appointed Will Rolfe to the SAD17 Board of Directors at the December 13 meeting.

Rolfe assumes the position vacated by Toby Whitman. The appointment term will be until the Annual Town Meeting on March 2, 2019.

When asked by Grass why he wanted the position, Rolfe replied, “I have an interest to help students who I feel are in my situation. I feel we’re leaving a lot of students behind. I feel there is a lot of potential that is overlooked.”

Selectman Dale Piirainen reminded Rolfe, “You are a steward of the taxpayers’ money and trust. You are as responsible to the taxpayer as well as the students.”