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The four Fortier brothers seen here - from left, Gary, Jeff, Ron and Richard - posed for a family portrait taken earlier this year by photographer Jamie Campbell before Jeff died from cancer in August.COURTESY OF FIRESTORM PHOTOGRAPHY
"The fire service in general has typically been generational so many times," said Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper. Tupper said George was one of five city firefighters inured in the Hancock County Courthouse Fire in March of 1930. Tupper said there were times in the late 1970s when Joe and sons would all respond to a fire, leaving only Joe's wife, Charlotte, to run Fortier Electric on Main Street. "The electrical world would stop when a fire call came in," Tupper said.
Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper keeps a watchful eye on students as they file out of Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School (EEMS) Tuesday morning during a fire drill. PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER
Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper keeps a watchful eye on students as they file out of Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School (EEMS) Tuesday morning during a fire drill. Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper and Lt.
Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper said firefighters received a report of a structure fire around 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Tupper said workers at Atlantic Landscape and a neighbor hooked up a garden hose and put water on the fire. Though Tupper did not endorse the move, because it could have put them in danger, he said it did help keep the fire from spreading. "They were able to successfully hold the fire at bay until crews got there," he said. Tupper said firefighters made short work of extinguishing the fire and actually spent more time getting smoke out of the building afterward. He said a pallet of fiberglass screening, a material used to wrap trees while in transport, somehow caught fire. "We're very thankful for them responding," said Tupper of the mutual aid crews, "because if it had turned into something we would have needed their help and then some." Tupper said Saturday's fire also offers a chance to remind motorists about Maine's law regarding emergency vehicles. When a driver sees a fire truck, police cruiser or ambulance with its lights on, he or she needs to pull over and stop and let the vehicle go by. Tupper said drivers sometimes neglect the second part, and he has been in a fire truck responding to a scene while traffic that has pulled over to the right is still driving at 55 or 60 mph in the breakdown lane. "That makes for a very dangerous situation for everybody," he said.
Tupper went first and said adding a training coordinator is his biggest priority.
He said training is "a huge part of everything we do," noting the department holds weekly training sessions on Monday nights. He said the coordinator would organize and schedule trainings, making sure training is consistent and that each firefighter has all the training he or she needs. The coordinator would keep records of everyone's training, which are subject to inspection by the Bureau of Labor. Tupper said the current staff does not have the time to organize and manage a comprehensive training regimen in the way that the coordinator would be able to. Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper told city councilors Monday night he wants to add a new training coordinator position to his department. PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper told city councilors Monday night he wants to add a new training coordinator position to his department.
"Those working smoke detectors do make a significant difference in alerting and response times and being able to evacuate out of harm's way," said Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper.
Tupper said Ellsworth Police officers had been patrolling nearby when the initial call came in, so they stopped to investigate. "They confirmed that the first floor was full of smoke," and that the house had been evacuated Tupper said. The Fire Department was able to extinguish the blaze in the dryer quickly and removed the appliance from the residence, Tupper said. "There was minimal fire damage within the structure," he said. Tupper said the cause of the fire - whether due to a lint buildup or a mechanical issue -is unknown at this time.