In the wake of last September’s explosion in Farmington, which was caused by a gas leak and claimed the life of Farmington Fire Department Captain Michael Bell and injured several others, Governor Janet Mills yesterday announced that her Administration has purchased gas detection meters for 25 fire departments across Maine. The gas detection meters will allow firefighters to detect the presence of dangerous gasses and take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and others.
“Every fire department in Maine should be able to detect the presence of a gas leak and take steps to address the situation safely, especially as they work to protect others,” said Governor Mills. “These new gas detection meters will prevent tragedies like the one in Farmington and spare us the painful loss of another heroic first responder.”
Following the explosion at the LEAP facility in Farmington last year, Governor Mills instructed the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to determine if any fire departments in Maine lacked gas detection capabilities. Twenty departments responded that they had not way to detect the presence of a gas leak while responding to a call.
DPS determined that the most common equipment used by fire departments with multi-gas detection capabilities is the MSA Altair 4x four gas instrument. These meters can monitor 4 different gases – oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide – simultaneously within lower explosive level and upper explosive level ranges.
Portland is not on the list of recipients.