Kennebunk Fire Chief Jeff Rowe displays a hand-held thermal imaging camera, one of a dozen recently donated to the department. As well, he displayed an earlier model, to show how technology has advanced in the past 20 years. Tammy Wells Photo

KENNEBUNK – First responders here now have a dozen new hand-held thermal imaging cameras to help them determine if someone is inside a building that is on fire or while searching in the dark for someone who may be lost.

Fire Chief Jeff Rowe showed the camera to Select Board members at a recent meeting, noting the advances in technology that have made the cameras much smaller, among other advantages in the last 20 years. With him he carried a model purchased about two decades ago, which at the time cost about $18,000, he estimated.

The hand- held cameras, along with four gas meters, were a gift to Kennebunk Fire Rescue Department from David Harrison of Eastern Avenue Holdings, Together, the cameras and meters are valued at $8,900.

It has been the season for giving and receiving here in recent weeks.

Kennebunk Fire Rescue received a number of other donations, totaling $2,50.

Kennebunk Police Department acknowledged a gift of $3,450 from Jason St. Jean, which was used to purchase new bicentennial badges for officers.

As well, there were a number of gifts to the Kennebunk Heating Assistance Fund and Social Services accounts from several donors, totaling $8,650.

Kennebunk Savings contributed $100,000 to a traffic signaling project at the Exit 25 southbound ramp and Alewive Road intersection and the Exit 25 northbound ramp and Fletcher Street intersection. Kennebunk’s share of the Maine Turnpike Authority project, due to take place this year is $115,000. The Kennebunk Savings contribution, Select Board members noted, reduces the town’s contribution to $15,000.

Select Board members voted to send letters of thanks to all who made contributions.

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