Livermore selectpersons vote Monday night to buy a storage unit for the Highway Department. From left are Selectpersons Brett Deyling and Mark Chretien, Administrative Assistant Amy Byron and Selectpersons Scott Richmond and Benjamin Guild. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

LIVERMORE — Fire Chief Donald Castonguay told selectpersons Monday night that he is writing procedures for handling propane gas leaks, updating equipment and holding training sessions in the wake of a deadly explosion in Farmington two weeks ago.

“The accident in Farmington has made me look at our protocols,” he said. “Just like every other department, we’ve been complacent on that.”

He said he has ordered a newer and better gas meter with a wand that can be stuck in a building to take readings from the outside. It’s expected to arrive in two weeks.

“The one we have now is basically the same,” he said. “The meters need to be calibrated monthly. We haven’t been doing that. I’ve bought a calibration kit to calibrate both meters.”

Castonguay said his department had a training Sept. 23 and an instructor is coming to Livermore Falls Oct. 7 to train four area towns.

“We don’t have a separate standard operating procedure for dealing with propane spills, smells,” he said. “I’m in the process of writing one. I figure we might as well be proactive.

“I’ve got a feeling (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is going to come down on us to have a separate (standard operating procedure) and how to deal with this,” he said.

“Basically, we show up, find the tank, shut it off and then take a reading with the meter,” he said. “Propane sinks. If going down cellar, you’ve got to take a reading for every foot you go down.”

The chief said, “We’re going to be doing different from now on,” adding he hopes nothing like what occurred in Farmington “happens on my watch.”

There haven’t been any gas calls in the past two weeks, he said, but there were a few last winter.

Castonguay said he purchased three new portable radios and replaced radios in Engines One and Two. He also purchased some fairly new radios. Two will go in pickups of department members on the south end of town who have been having trouble communicating.

“I have also changed frequencies so we match with Jay and Livermore Falls,” he said. “We’re all on the same attack channel now,” he said.

In other business, the board voted to purchase a 40-foot long by 9½-foot tall storage container for the Highway Department for $3,950.

“It’s worth its weight in gold when you have storage,” Highway Department Foreman Roger Ferland said.


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