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Mutual-aid room rehab planned for Eagle Scout project


By Anne O’Connor

PEPPERELL — Matt Landino wants all of the mutual-aid folks who do so much for the community to be comfortable.

So, he is doing something about it.

When out-of-town firefighters and medics cover the fire station while the Pepperell department is out on a call, the visitors have a small, uninsulated loft at the Jersey Street station to call home for the duration.

On two sides, a railing separates the visitors from the garage. The other two sides of the loft are exterior walls, said the Life Scout. There’s a couple of chairs and an old TV.

“It’s not very comfortable,” he said. Sometimes responders from other towns are there overnight.

As his Eagle Scout service project, Landino intends to make the space more comfortable. When the work is done, the room could also be used as a meeting and training room.

“We’re going to put four walls and a drop ceiling,” he said. His plans are flexible; the more money he raises, the more improvements will be made.

Paint, windows, heat and air-conditioning, and new furnishings are on the possibilities list.

Someone has already offered an air-conditioning unit. Another donated a picture window.

Fundraising is moving right along. “I’ve been going around to local businesses,” Landino said. “We’re getting close to the halfway point.”

A local contractor, Dick Egan, gave an estimate of $5,000 to complete the basic work.

Landino hopes for discounts on materials and donations of labor to bring the project in under budget.

“A lot of people who know trades are on the Fire Department and a lot of boys in the troop have offered their help,” he said. “I think we’re not going to be short on helping hands.”

If he raises more than is needed to complete the room, the additional funds will go to the Pepperell Firefighters Association.

Landino turns 18 in October and is a junior at North Middlesex Regional High School. He is on the student council and does martial arts outside of school.

During the summer, he is a member of the Prudence Island Fire Department in Rhode Island.

Donations can be made online at . Checks made payable to “PFA Mutual Aid Room Eagle Project” can be sent to 19 Ashley St., Pepperell, MA 01463.

Landino can be reached at 978-855-3951.

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter and Tout @a1oconnor.