Category Archives: New Gloucester Fire Rescue

Full staff at New Gloucester fire, rescue making all the difference

Chief Toby Martin said filling vacancies has reduced response time.

| Ellie Fellers – Special to the Sun Journal |

NEW GLOUCESTER — The fire and rescue department’s vacancies have finally been filled and emergency response time has been reduced after months of resignations left the station short-handed.

Fire Chief Toby Martin said Wednesday that the departure of seven longtime members had the department searching for new members and took a toll on the work they do.

Martin said the door is open for additional community members to join the department that includes 20 call members, four who also work as per diem employees, plus 17 per diem members. Keep reading in the Sun Journal

NG announces Fire Department promotions

Press release – New Gloucester, ME – After conducting an official review process, the Town of New Gloucester would like to announce the following promotions of fire department officers:

Interim Deputy Chief Craig Bouchard of Lewiston, Maine, to fill the role of Deputy Fire Chief.

Lieutenant Hale Fitzgerald of New Gloucester, promoted to Fire Captain.

Private Chris Gill of New Gloucester, promoted to Fire Lieutenant.

Private Eric Beaulieu of Gray, promoted to Fire Lieutenant.

The effective date of promotions will be February 3, 2020. The department will be holding a pinning ceremony congratulating the newly appointed fire officers on February 10, 2020. With their skills, training, leadership, and knowledge these officers bring tremendous benefit to the Town of New Gloucester, helping us to face the challenges ahead.

Firefighters-in-training

|Penny Hilton|


It used to be that when New Gloucester Fire and Rescue responded to your call, it was likely you’d recognize the responders because they were all local volunteers, neighbors and cousins and folks you’d bump into around town. Now, as everywhere else in rural America, things are changing.

It may be hard – but it’s not all bad! One of the very good things going on at our Fire/Rescue station these days is the inclusion of two live-in students from the Southern Maine Community College Fire Service degree program. The program places students with area fire stations to complement their class-room learning with real-life experience in every part of the fire service life, from responding to calls, to cleaning the station and cooking for the crew. The students get free lodging in single rooms at the station with cable, wi-fi, and dorm-like furnishings, but pay for their food and their tuition.

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NG Fire & Rescue evolves in the face of challenges

|Penny Hilton|

NGFR at a house fire.
Photo from NGFR Facebook page

The more It’s been a tough year – a tough several years – heck, a tough decade or two for New Gloucester Fire and Rescue (NGFR). Systemic problems have been shared by fire/rescue departments nationwide. Firefighting has become more and more complicated due to changes in materials, hazards, technologies and federal requirements. At the same time, the hometown-centric culture that made volunteer fire departments viable has all but disappeared. Fire chiefs across the country have been sounding that alarm for years.

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After blaze in New Gloucester, chief sounds alarm about shortage of firefighters

When a fire in a New Gloucester mobile home was reported in the middle of the night, it took three towns to muster enough firefighters to fight the blaze.

Poland Fire Chief Tom Printup, the first to arrive on scene because he lives nearby, said 12 firefighters responded to the fire on Quarry Road just after 2 a.m. Thursday. With the abandoned mobile home fully involved and already collapsing, firefighters could handle the call because they did not need to enter the building or rescue anyone. Keep reading Gillian Graham’s article in the Portland Press Herald.

New Gloucester deputy fire chief to be named in August — Sun Journal

By Ellie Fellers – Special to the Sun Journal June 25

Public Safety Department Chief Toby Martin said Tuesday that applications from within the department for the deputy chief’s position will be accepted until July 12 and a finalist named Aug. 8.

About five members are qualified to serve, he said.

Voters at the annual town meeting May 7 approved funding the department, formerly the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department, and combining the departments’ budgets.

However, the New Gloucester Public Safety Department Ordinance that outlined the governance of the reorganized department failed to pass June 19 on a 17-17 vote. Keep reading Ellie Fellers’s article in the Sun Journal.

New Gloucester mobile home destroyed by fire — Press Herald

By Gillian Graham – Staff Writer, Press Herald

A mobile home on Quarry Road in New Gloucester was destroyed in an early morning fire.

A passerby spotted the blaze at 342 Quarry Road and reported it to authorities at 2:13 a.m. Thursday. When firefighters arrived on scene minutes later, the home was engulfed in flames, said New Gloucester Fire Chief Toby Martin.

“It seems it had been burning quite a bit before it was reported,” he said. “It was 100 percent involved and collapsed as the first person arrived on scene.”

The mobile home is believed to be abandoned, though power was still on in the home. Martin said firefighters had to wait for Central Maine Power to cut electricity to the building because power lines were on the ground. Read the full article in the Press Herald.

New Gloucester town report dedicated to rescue service founder — Sun Journal

NEW GLOUCESTER – Selectmen on Monday evening dedicated the 223rd annual town report to Avis Thurston Ford, a founding member of New Gloucester Rescue in 1975 and longtime community volunteer.

“Avis is truly a gift to New Gloucester in so many ways,” New Gloucester Historical Society President Beverly Cadigan said during the dedication ceremony. “In the early 1970s, there was no New Gloucester Rescue. Avis was one of the 12 residents who took classes and qualified to become a basic EMT responder.” Keep reading Ellie Fellers’ piece in the Sun Journal.

Search for next Fire Chief Continues in New Gloucester — Sun Journal Feb. 2

New Gloucester’s search for a new fire chief to replace former chief James Ladewig will continue this week with additional candidate interviews scheduled for February 8, according to Town Manager Carrie Castonguay.   To learn more about the status of the search and its background, read Ellie Fellers’s full story in the Sun Journal.

New Gloucester town manager names interim fire chief — Sun Journal

By Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal – November 19, 2018

Town Manager Carrie Castonguay announced at Monday’s selectmen meeting that Sherman Lahaie of Naples would serve as interim fire chief starting Monday.

Earlier this month, former Fire Chief James Ladewig returned to work after a paid administrative leave. He resigned the day after his return and after an investigation by Castonguay.

At the same time, Castonguay suspended Deputy Fire Chief Roger Levasseur, who has served the department for decades and was in charge of the department while Ladewig was on leave.

She said she could not discuss the issue because it is a personnel matter.

In other business Monday, the board reviewed capital improvements for public works, the transfer station, the Town Hall and library, fire and emergency medical services and administration, assessing and general government.

The Capital Improvement Committee ranks the projects and capital reserve accounts for the coming year and the board makes the final decision for funding requests to be presented to voters.

Some items for capital reserve accounts include heat pumps for cooling and supplemental heat, upgrades/replacement of the fire station computer server, replacing the town’s telephone system and a matching fund reserve for any grants the town receives.

Department budgets are due by Nov. 29. The town manager will distribute budget books to the board by Jan. 23, 2019.