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THE REASON BEHIND THIS FORM AND PROGRAM
By Jesse Scardina
October 05. 2014 7:59AM
Life threatening loss of power
KITTERY, Maine — During a terrible storm, power outages can become a nuisance for many. But for some, losing power can mean the difference between breathing or not.
Kittery Fire Chief Dave O’Brien, with help from the Kittery Police Department and the town’s emergency medical services is hoping to identify and offer help for those residents vulnerable during power outages or extended periods of treacherous weather.
O’Brien created a form residents can voluntarily fill out if they would like to receive a welfare call from a member of the town’s emergency personnel if there’s an impending storm to make sure they are OK, and, if there is a significant power outage, have the opportunity to be checked on by emergency personnel and be transported to the fire station, which would act as a temporary shelter equipped with backup generators.
The idea for the Inclement Weather Special Needs form was spurred from a conversation O’Brien had with longtime Kittery residents Curtis Chapman and his wife Betty, who are worried for their well-being and those in a similar position to theirs during extended power outages.
“We have three neighbors here, all over 80 years old,” Curtis Chapman said from the living room of his home on Page Street. “These elderly people are very concerned that if they lose their power they lose their heat. Where do you go? What do you do? There’s a concern.”