The year-round islands in Casco Bay provide varied services to its residents depending on the population level and whether the island is a part of Portland or a town unto itself. The more populous and the self-governing islands provide a higher level of service, while the less populous islands of Portland have fewer services. A strong community spirit is reflected on all the islands as they work to provide the best service possible to their residents and visitors.
FIRE AND EMS
All islands have volunteer fire departments and provide reciprocal support to neighboring islands when needed. Those islands which are part of the City of Portland are also supported by the mainland Portland FD, which has a Fire Boat as well as a Medical Boat which serve Peaks, Little and Great Diamond, and Cliff Islands. Chebeague and Long Islands also provide their own boats for medical emergencies and transport to the mainland.
Great Diamond Island and Peaks Island have fully charged hydrants. The other islands use tanker trucks to bring water to a fire scene. All islands have firetrucks, ambulances, and associated apparatus.
Many islands provide CPR training on an annual basis. The City of Portland offers training for Fire Fighting, First Responder and EMS for anyone wanting to contribute the time and effort to become certified. Life Flight is also available for life threatening medical emergencies.
During the summer months a Veterinary Boat visits the islands to treat pets.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND LIBRARIES
Cliff Island, Long Island and Peaks Island have elementary schools and libraries. When the children reach middle school age they take the ferry to town and attend Portland Public schools or other private schools in the area. Chebeague Island also has its own elementary school from which their children move on to attend school in Yarmouth on the mainland.
POLICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
The City of Portland provides community policing on Peaks Island year round. Long Island and Chebeague Island also have public safety officers.
Peaks Island, Chebeague Island and Long Island have Post Offices. Islanders throughout the bay recognize the vital service these post offices provide to their communities and make an effort to utilize them in order to assure that they remain open.
FERRY AND WATER TAXI SERVICES
The ferry service is the most important life line on which the bay residents rely. In addition to transporting passengers, the vessels transport mail, freight, groceries and personal items. One of the CBL ferries is a dedicated car ferry serving Peaks Island. Casco Bay Lines serves Cliff Island, Great Chebeague Island, Little Diamond Island, Great Diamond Island, Long Island, and Peaks Island. Chebeague also has a separate ferry that runs out of Yarmouth on a regular basis. Weather permitting there are several water taxis that service the islands.
Chebeague Island, Cliff Island, Long Island, and Peaks Island have grocery stores that make it easy to access fresh foods and staples. Great Diamond Island has seasonal stores. There is also a Market Boat that visits many of the docks in the bay.