HOULTON, Maine — Whether its responding to a burning building or automobile accident where someone is trapped and cannot get out, firefighters put their lives on the line on a regular basis with little acknowledgement.
Therefore, it was only fitting that the members of the Houlton Fire Department received a little bit of recognition for their years of service March 9 with a dinner and ceremony. The department traditionally holds an annual dinner for its members, but this year, Houlton Fire Chief Milton Cone said he wanted to do something a bit more special.
“I wanted to come up with something to recognize each and every member of the department,” Cone said.
To celebrate their years of service each firefighter was presented with a certificate, as well as a specially made set of coins to denote years of service in five-year increments.
“We stopped at the 30-year coin, but you will see some members have exceeded that,” Cone said. “The final coin — the gold coin — will be given to them when they retire and will have how many years of service engraved on the back.”
Walfy Roy was recognized as the active firefighter with the most years of service. Roy has spent 38 years with the fire department.
Recognized with five-year coins were: Anthony Benn, eight years; and John Folsom, Daniel Norton Jr., and Roger Larson, each with nine years.
Recognized with 10-year coins were: Johsua Henderson, Peter Howe, both 12 years; and Andrew Putnam, Dana LaPointe and Kevin Harris, each with 13 years.
Recognized with 15-year coins were: Glen Targonski, 17 years; Robert Hannigan and Fred Craig, both 18 years; and James Brown and Jonathan Ross, each 19 years.
Recognized with 25-year coins were: Glenn Miller, 25 years; Kevin Tingley, 26 years; and David Beals, 27 years.
Recognized with 30-year coins were: Brian Beals, 30 years; Michael Beals, 33 years; Leland Cyr, 34 years; Cone, 35 years; and Roy, 38 years.
“One of the things that has added to the Houlton Fire Department and what we do for the community, we could not have done it without the support of the spouses and families,” said Cone.
Retired firefighters were also recognized for their service to the department. They included Eugene Ross (40 years), Arlo Hall (39 years), Cedric Glidden (30 years), Bob Reardon (30 years), Philip Cloney (21 years) and Dana Williamson (20 years).
“I have been fortunate that I have had the opportunity to work with all of these guys,” Cone said. “They did an excellent job of setting the bar high and for setting the standard that we try to maintain.”