Lanesborough Fire Department Hosts Junior Firefighter Academy

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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Lanesborough Fire Department hosted its first-ever Junior Firefighter Academy on Saturday, May 7.

The event was done in conjunction with the Berkshire County Fire Chiefs Association. Sixteen juniors attended from a number of Western Massachusetts fire departments as far away is Goshen, Huntington, Northfield, Monterey and Alford. 

The inspiration for the Junior Fire Academy was Nick Garrity. He and his father, Deputy Fire Chief Wood Garrity, saw the Junior Fire Academy being hosted by the National Volunteer Fire Council, and for the costs associated to attend that decided instead to host an event locally.

The juniors that attended rotated through eight stations the stations, which included rope rescue from the western Mass Regional Technical Rescue Team ladders and lettering from the Adams Fire Department vehicle extrication with the Lanesborough Fire Department and Sayers Auto Wrecking. There was also a station where students were giving GPS coordinates and had to locate and extricate a patient.

The academy was largely supported by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services. There were also a number of static displays, including the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office Communications vehicle, the Massachusetts State Police Communications vehicle, Department of Fire Services, and the Hampshire and Berkshire County DART trailers.

In addition, the Pittsfield Fire Department assisted by setting up a mini firefighter combat challenge. There also was a Rural Water Supply demonstration with the assistance of the Clarksburg Fire Company, the Richmond Fire Department, the New Ashford Fire Department, the Hancock Fire Department, the Lanesborough Fire Department and the Cheshire Fire Department.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Bureau of Fire Control also sent six vehicles and set up various stations for junior firefighters to see and demonstrate forest fire equipment.

The day concluded with a graduation ceremony and certificates distributed by Kevin Connolly from the Massachusetts Call Volunteer Fire Association and the Adams Fire Chief and president of the Berkshire County Fire Chiefs Association PJ Goyette.


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Lanesborough Planning Board Extends Solar Permits

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Representatives of solar developer Engie North America address the Planning Board on Monday night.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Solar power was the topic of the evening at the Planning Board meeting on Monday night as the board extended permits for three large commercial solar operations. 
 
Engie North America Inc. was seeking an extension to special permits previously issued for projects at 405 South Main St. (Skyline Country Club), 550 North Main St. (Pillar LLC), and land on Partridge Road owned by Petricca Development. The substantial use permit expired on Aug. 20 and the company is seeking an extension to the end of the year. The extension was made necessary by recent snags in obtaining the panels.
 
"We can get the panels, but in mid-June there was an exemption that was put in on bifacial (two-sided) solar panels to the tariffs that are being imposed on imported solar panels," said Matt Singer, project developer for Engie. "What that did was really turn the solar module market upside down. We were pretty far along with a supplier, ready to finalize a deal, then the market changed overnight and [the supplier] essentially backed out and we had to line up a new supplier. Which we did."
 
All the sites had minor issues that were addressed by Engie.
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