Calais Fire-EMS Holds Second Annual Awards Ceremony

By Lura Jackson



Assistant Fire Chief Kenneth Clark (left) shakes the hand of Karen Clark as Fire Chief Robert Posick watches. Clark is the recipient of the 2014 Fire Chief's award.

The ever-stalwart members of the Calais Fire-EMS team were honored for their service during the second annual awards ceremony for the organization. Fire Chief Posick hosted the ceremony, which recognized individuals that received promotions as well as awards for length of service, commitment to duty, and commitment to community. 

Mayor Marianne Moore was on hand to perform the oath of office for two members that received promotions at the start of the ceremony. Janet Purton was promoted to EMS Director and Timothy Krug was promoted to Lieutenant. Purton was also recognized for her five years of service (an honor that Vernon Cropley and Suzanne Morrison similarly shared) while Krug was recognized for his 15 years of duty.

For this year’s Community Service Award, Chief Posick gave special recognition to two employees of Calais Regional Hospital for their efforts in saving the life of Sam Sotirelis on May 3rd, 2014. Rebecca Blake and Rebecca Farrar discovered Mr. Sotirelis not breathing and unconscious in his vehicle and proceeded to perform CPR on him. The pair administered rescue breaths while maintaining safe hygiene practices with the aid of a plastic bag. Sam Sotirelis was present at the ceremony to share an emotional thank you with Rebecca Farrar, who he was able to meet under much more favorable circumstances than their first encounter. Sotirelis said that the doctors explained to him that without the timely actions of Farrar and Blake, he could have suffered significant brain damage. “I don’t seem to have lost any of my faculties,” Sotirelis jested amicably. 

Calais Fire-EMS operates on the basis of twelve pillars, qualities that each team member strives to fulfill in their duty. Chief Posick presented those members that particularly embodied or demonstrated the aspects of each pillar with an award, recognizable as a red bar pinned on the jacket. For his attention to safety and for traveling the state and teaching other departments about the importance of safety, Dave Sullivan received the Safety Always award. For his ability to always “get things taken care of,” Bob Cousins of the Danforth department received the Accountable Leadership award. Bill Pulk was recognized for his commitment to Steadfast Integrity.

EMS Director Janet Purton presented the next set of awards. Amanda Hardaswick was commended for her physical, mental, and emotional fitness and for her encouragement of the fitness of her team members with the Fit for Family; Fit for Duty award. For his near perfect ongoing training attendance, his attention to the uniform code, and his community outreach, all without expecting praise, Angus “Beef” Rogers received the Humble Example award. Brian Flemming was recognized for his dedication to continuing his education and becoming an “even better member of his community” with the Quality and Progress As a Norm award.

Captain Richard Mingo proceeded with the next four awards, beginning with Brandon Ireland, recognized for his ability to work between organizations and communities to accomplish tasks with the Team Based Work Ethic award. For his efforts in fighting fires before they occur with his diligent inspections, Kevin Ingersoll received the Pro-Active Public Education Award. For her ability to assist with the monitoring and ordering of cost-effective supplies, Elizabeth Read received the Responsible Stewardship award.

Station Captain Dale Purton presented the final set of awards. For his long history of “setting the standards, not just meeting them” in providing the best service in difficult situations, William Lee received the Excellence in Customer Service award. Michael Krug was recognized for his dignified seniority and his pride in his station and the city with the Steeped in Tradition award. For her active involvement in encouraging the development of the organization, Crystal McLellan received the Pride and Ownership award.

Lastly, Chief Posick wished to recognize “one special individual that possesses those intangible qualities of character that can never be taught or bought.”  For standing out above all others and for her steadfast commitment to others above self, Karen Clark received the 2014 Chief’s award.


In concluding the ceremony, Posick stated that though the equipment that the fire fighters use has changed from buckets to horses to steam engines and steel, the dedication of the crew has always been the most important ingredient. “We’ve been on some very tough calls this year. But it was never the equipment that fought those fires—it was the members that did. Thank you.”