An increasing need for a haircut inspired a local fire chief to raise money for the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service.
Damariscotta Fire Chief John Roberts had been looking for a unique way to raise money for the ambulance service, which provides emergency medical services to the towns of Alna, Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Jefferson, Newcastle, Nobleboro, and South Bristol.
“The organization does a lot for the health and safety of our community and also for firefighters and other emergency responders,” Roberts said. “They ask for so little from our taxpayers, so any little bit we can donate will help.”
Around the same time he was trying to come up with a fundraiser, a new concern was continually brought up to Roberts: the length of his hair.
“There are people in the area who kept commenting on how long my hair was getting and how unkempt it was,” said Roberts, who has not had a haircut in 2018. “That’s kind of how this came together.”
Roberts posted an announcement about the fundraiser on his personal Facebook page Friday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m. To date, the post has received more than 90 reactions and been shared 37 times.
The fundraiser will take place over the next three weeks. Whichever individual or group raises the most money will shave Roberts’ head, “bringing it down to a Gillette finish,” he said.
“If I’ve offended anyone, I’m probably sorry, but if you want retribution, here’s your chance,” Roberts said.
The shearing will take place at Louis Doe Home Center in Newcastle on Saturday, May 19, giving Roberts another month without a haircut.
“We always try to take part in supporting our local emergency services,” said Mark Doe, of Louis Doe Home Center. Doe is the deputy chief of the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service. His wife, Tara Doe, works at the Lincoln County Communications Center.
Every dollar raised will go to the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service. Roberts said he would “like to raise enough to provide a good donation” with hopes that some of the money will be used to purchase Cyanokit, a cyanide antidote.
“It’s a very important tool for all ambulances to have to protect firefighters and victims of smoke inhalation, and I hope this can help in that effort,” Roberts said.
According to the website for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydrogen cyanide is used in the production of synthetic fibers, plastics, dyes, and pesticides.
Hydrogen cyanide can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin or eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure can affect the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the lungs. In some cases, hydrogen cyanide poisoning can be fatal.
Local fire chiefs have taken an active role in outfitting the ambulance service with Cyanokit. Last year, all five of CLC’s ambulances were stocked with the antidote after Bristol Fire Chief Paul Leeman Jr. reached out to fire chiefs in surrounding towns to see if each department would donate to the effort.
Cyanokit has a limited shelf life. If it is not used before its expiration, it must be replaced.
In order to track which individual or group has donated the most money, checks should be made out to the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service and mailed to Roberts at Lincoln County Publishing Co., P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543.
Donations can also be dropped off at the publishing company at 116 Mills Road.
For more information, call Roberts at 563-3171.