Fire professionals and cadets from Archangel Russia, along with local Archangel Committee member Susan McCarthy, a fire-protection specialist, and South Portland Fire Dept Lt Chris Copp joined us for lunch on March 28.

This is the fifth trip of a bi-lateral exchange between the fire and rescue services of Greater Portland / Maine Warden and Forest Services in Augusta - and the similar departments in our Greater Portland sister-city of Archangel. This particular visit is called Project Brotherhood 2017, and included a 2-hour briefing on the program that kicked off the 2017 Maine Fire Chiefs Association annual meeting at Sunday River.

The first four visits - all in 2016 - were funded by a $100K US State Dept grant through the US Embassy in Moscow - one of 16 grants awarded to special programs in 2016 to foster US-Russia relations.  This series of four visits was widely recognized as being the most visible, active, and having potential for follow-on success of all the grants awarded last year.
The four 2016 Moscow Embassy grant visits have focused on the many similarities and differences of the two cultures and departments in their approach to personnel training and health, equipment acquisition and repair, code compliance, and structural and procedural efficiencies.  This current exchange of six Archangel delegates is fully funded via private donations, as the original grant money had been spent.  
At the March 28 Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Meeting
L-R: Phil Spiller, GP-Archangel Committee
Sergei Kvashnin, Archangel Fire Dept. Team Leader
Susan McCarthy, GP-Archangel Committee
Pavel Kaliaev, Archangel Fire Cadet
Ekatrina Maksimova, Archangel Rescue Service Psychologist
Maxim Grigoryev, Archangel Fire Cadet
Svetlana Kuznetsova - Fire Prevention Specialist
Lt Chris Copp - South Portland Fire Dept 
Vadim Kuznetsova - 4th grade Archangel student (son of Svetlana)
Before the group departed for Sunday River on Wednesday, they were guests on the Ray Richardson WLOB morning show. Anytime Archangel visitors are on the show, they are always one of Ray's most popular guest spots.
March 29 at WLOB Studios
A group photo at the end of the "Project Brotherhood" briefing - describing the four visits under the grant thus far.  The 2-hour briefing kicked off the 2017 Fire Chiefs Association annual meeting at Sunday River this past Wednesday March 29th.  Pictured are the Archangel guests, members of the Westbrook / Portland / South Portland / Scarborough / Jetport / Maine Fire Marshal / ME Warden Service / Maine Fire Service and members of the Greater Portland - Archangel committee.
March 29 at Sunday River