Calais Fire & EMS Continues to Grow

By Dan Northcutt

Since their inception in 2009 Calais Fire & EMS has continued to grow in service to the community. While many other municipal and state organizations have had to tighten their belts as a result of the restrictive economy, Calais Fire & EMS, under the command of Chief Posik, has significantly expanded the department capabilities while actually putting money back into the coffers in the amount of nearly $1,000,000 dollars in generated or saved revenue. This is in addition to local job creation and promotion. 

Some of the additions to the department in recent months include a bariatric stretcher, which allows the department to comfortably provide aid to a wider range of patients, a station in Danforth that provides service to an additional 10 communities, new personnel, and the Community Paramedicine Program which according to Chief Posik, “is designed to assist recently released patients from the hospital with basic vital sign screenings, wound care, medication monitoring, education and other basic services as approved by the patient’s primary care physician.” Furthermore there are plans to add another ambulance in the near future. The most recent addition is Paramedic and Firefighter Elizabeth Read, formerly of Downeast EMS. With years of experience in the local community she comes as a welcome and needed addition to Calais Fire & EMS. 

Previously the department was strained to provide constant advanced life saving care to the community. Calais Regional Hospital operates as a critical care facility, in the event that a patient requires more extensive medical treatment, they are transported to larger hospitals in cities like Bangor, Portland, or even Boston. This left Calais without advanced life support during the transport. Immediately the importance of the position was seen, as Chief Posik put it, “I am honored to say that just last week, the additional paramedic on duty at Central Station enabled us to provide Advanced Life Support to two separate patients, on two separate calls, at two ends of the city, at the same time. This has happened in the past but it required the call back of off-duty personnel. Later in the day and more momentous, with the 3rd FF/ Paramedic, we were able to serve the required out of town transporting needs of 3 separate patients at the same time without stripping our citizens of Emergency Medical Services.”

The department has continued to develop with state of the art equipment, training, and service, while at the same time making financial investments that cover costs and then some. The most important aspect however are the appreciated professionals within our community that place themselves on the line for us and our property. Chief Posik put it best when he said, “It wasn’t the equipment that provided a better service to this and other communities served by Calais Fire - EMS. It was our people. We will always strive to be more fiscally prudent and accomplish more with less but it’s the people that get it done. Our excellent staff is why Calais Fire – EMS has progressed toward better customer service over the past year.”