Calais Fire-EMS

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

The Calais Fire-EMS is a well established group of people that are known in the community and by job description help the community. But what do these dedicated men and women really do?

Recently the Calais Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Services combined under one roof and one name. According to Chief Posick, Calais part of the over 50% of the State of Maine who have combined their Fire and EMS services, a practice which is cost effective. 

Because of the combination the Calais Fire-EMS personnel are handling a lot more than just fires and spending more time with the patients. “if someone calls 911 they’re more than likely going to get a firefighter,” Bill Lee of Fire-EMS said “The department has more to do these days responding to most calls that come in but they must also maintain a rigorous training schedule to make sure they’re prepared.” 

While I was talking to the Chief and some of the staff about what it’s like to be Calais member of Calais Fire-EMS they were called away to a home on Mahar Street where there was a furnace fire. Invited to ride along I joined them watching as they went about doing their jobs. 

It was like watching a well rehearsed symphony performing a difficult piece. The few people in the station jumped in the truck and the ambulance driving up the hill. At the home there was already several  members of the fire department either part time or off duty showed up ready to respond. With trained efficiency and skill, the members went in handled the fire and cleared the scene. 

“Many of them were out last night responding to a two story structure fire in St. Stephen and then they turn around and are back to work today,” Posick said. “Last night was so cold that the water from the hoses was freezing to their uniforms breaking and cracking when they moved,” Posick went on. 

“Most of the time people don’t see us doing everything we do. Help elderly people who can’t get up, putting air in kids tires, and of course responding to the Fire-EMS calls,” Captain Dale Purton said. 

Currently the Fire-EMS staff is looking to add some people to the staff, particularly there is a need for a paramedic of the 3:00 pm to midnight shift on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Those interested can pick up an application at the Calais City Building or stop into the station to talk with the Chief. 

“It’s all about the people. Getting thanked from someone for saving their life in the hospital room and seeing a smile on a kids face when you find the teddy bear they’ve had all their life, that’s what it’s about,” Lee said.