Microburst hits York Village

Posted July 15, 2014 By Nick

Members were at the firehouse doing what we usually do when a thunder storm approaches…waiting around in case the tone hits for a lightning strike or wire down.  We were taken by surprise when everything outside turned a green tint and the wind began blowing stronger than a normal thunder storm.  When the dust settled about 30 seconds later we were confronted with tree limbs all over the front apron of the firehouse.  The neighbor’s tree next door, down on the ground. It was then that York Dispatch started toning us out for trees down on houses.  Squad 2, Engine 4 and Truck 8 were quickly on the road to answer the calls, but we could not access the calls easily as trees were down across York Street in the village an in the harbor, as well as all the side streets.  Engine 1 from York Beach was dispatched to assist and we called two Engines from Kittery to stage and help us answer calls.  Eliot provided coverage on York Beach’s side of town.  We found multiple, large trees down in to many homes in York Village.  Several cars were destroyed as well.  A command post was set up at the York Street Baptist Church on York St.  During all of this, Truck 8 and Engine 4 responded to a serious car accident on Rt. 1 near Mountain Rd that ended up shutting the entire road down due to a telephone pole snapped in two places and wires on the ground.  Oqunquit Fire, Wells EMS and Eliot Fire also assisted with that incident.  Special Thanks to A.J. St.Hilaire and Jaime Leighton for the use of their photos.

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Remembering Lt. Wayne Fuller–40 years later

Posted July 14, 2014 By Paul Balentine

July 4, 1974, was a day that most families were spending together enjoying the holiday. Several York Firefighters were enjoying each others company at a cookout at  one of the member’s houses. The social aspect of the volunteer fire service has always been held in high regard by the men and women of York Village Fire. Fraternity is very important to morale and many members consider themselves more like family than co-workers or fellow volunteers. Late in the evening that day a thunderstorm passed through York. Pouring rain made the streets slick. The fire whistle atop the fire station blew alerting the men to a report of a fire on Bayview Avenue. The men jumped in Lt. Fuller’s vehicle and headed towards the fire. While responding up Route 103, the vehicle lost control and crashed killing Lt. Fuller and injuring the other firefighters in the vehicle. Among the injured were Charles Balentine, Bruce Woodward, and William Goslin.

This year is the 40th anniversary of this tragedy for the Fuller family and the York Village Fire Department. We wanted to take a moment to recognize this event in our history which happened this month so long ago in the hopes that it will never be forgotten and that our firefighters, as well as all firefighters remember to operate with safety in mind at all times. This is the only Line of Duty Death in the York Village Fire Department’s 98 year history. We are hoping that it is the last one we ever go through. We wish to Thank the Fuller family for being so generous and sharing their newspaper clippings of their relative so that we could share them with you all, our followers.

 

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Dispatcher Dion retires

Posted July 11, 2014 By Nick

We want to send the best of wishes to Dispatcher Linda Dion of the York Police Department.  She started her career as a Dispatcher in 1973 with the Ogunquit Police Department and soon moved over to York Police.  She has dispatched many large fires in the Town of York in her years and she will be missed by many.  It takes a special kind of person to be a public safety dispatcher as the job is extremely challenging and stressful.  With Linda’s professionalism and kind personality, she made the job look easy.  Linda worked her last shift last night from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. and York Police surprised her with a limo ride as she left her final shift.   (Photos courtesy of York Police)

 

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Funeral Detail for FF Brian Starkey

Posted July 7, 2014 By Paul Balentine

Today the York Village Fire Department mourned the loss of FF and former Asst. Chief Brian Starkey. Firefighters from all over New England escorted Brian’s flag draped casket along with several pieces of fire apparatus up York St. through York Village, under a pair of arched aerial ladders in front of the York Village Fire Station. It was a beautiful and hot July day, but there was a somber note about the entire day. It would be the last time we could give our Brother Brian a hand. 10 Pallbearers included York Village Fire personnel: Deputy Fire Chief Peter Humphrey, Captain Scott Apgar, Captain Paul Balentine, Lieutenant Nick Hilton, Firefighters Josh Allen, Mike Moores, Sanford, ME Fire Lieutenant Paul Dubois, Dr. Bob Brown, Kittery Police Patrolman Zack Harmon (a York Village Fire alumni) and Gary Mohr, Brian’s son-in-law. The funeral was held at St. Christopher’s Church on Barrel Lane in York Harbor with Father John Skeehan officiating. Father John is our official York Village Fire chaplain. Firefighters marched with the hearse and the apparatus to the First Parish Cemetery in the nearly 85 degree heat. In the graveyard, a short ceremony was held and then the funeral detail adjourned to the York Village Firehouse for another short ceremony including the striking of Box 3 “all out” for Brian Starkey on the bells and then on the whistle atop the firehouse. Light refreshments and Brotherhood after that.
Brian and his wife Bonnie have put countless hours into the York Village Fire Department and his contributions will be missed around here, he will be impossible to replace. We cant thank enough, all the firefighters who came forward to assist us in our time of loss. The crew of New Castle, NH Engine 4, and Kittery Engine 1 who answered alarms while we attended the service. Also our Brothers to the north York Beach Fire and Ogunquit Fire who sent their Ladder Companies down to form the arch for the funeral procession. We really felt the strong Brotherhood of the fire service yesterday, and it was a beautiful thing to see firefighters with all different shoulder patches come together and stand side by side with us to help us honor our friend.

Thank You to Ray Pitts for the memorial Poster of Brian, Shawn and AJ St. Hilaire for the use of their photos and Joanne Balentine for the use of her photos.

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The York Village Fire Department regrets to announce the passing of FF Brian Starkey. Brian is a former Medical Crew Chief and Department Assistant Chief. Brian and his wife Bonnie ran the department’s Fire Explorer post for a number of years and helped many of our current firefighters and officers get their start on the YFD. He was an avid fire buff and was active in numerous fire buff groups. Brian was often found behind the wheel of Engine 6 his beloved American LaFrance pumper, he never liked driving anything else in the fleet. In recent months, Brian’s health had deteriorated and he missed the fire department. In his time in and out of the hospital he relayed to some of the members how much he wanted somebody to take him down to the firehouse. Many of us were optimistic that he would pull through. A steady stream of visitors had kept a constant vigil with the family for at least the past week. It’s times like this that the extremely close knit family culture of the York Village Fire Department really shows through. Brian and Bonnie put countless hours into the York Village Fire Department over the years and their dedication to the organization is pretty nearly unrivaled. Brian will be sorely missed around the York Village Firehouse. The Department is assisting the family with their immediate needs.

Services are as follows:

Calling Hours
Sunday, July 6th

Lucas Eaton Funeral Home
91 Long Sands Rd, York, ME 03909
2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Funeral Services
Monday, July 7th

St. Christophers Church
4 Barrell Ln. York, ME 03909
11:00 am

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This year members attended the York Beach Fire Department’s 124th Anniversary celebration. It began with a parade through York Beach and across Long Sands Beach up around the Nubble area of town and then back to the York Beach ball field for a traditional New England Firemen’s muster with a respectable six muster teams. York Village Fire members having enough members to run two six person muster teams. Teams from York Village, Rollinsford, NH, North Bwerwick, Kennebunk, and Acton all competed in the friendly competition. Friendships were renewed and a fun time was had by all who attended. The tradition is being kept alive in the area by York Village and York Beach Fire Departments, though it is one that is slipping away and we are trying to keep it up. With six teams it would appear as though the event is going to be strong for at least a few more years. We are pleased to share these shots with you of the fun time we had keeping the tradition and spirit of the New England Firemen’s muster alive!!!

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4 new certified Firefighters

Posted June 28, 2014 By Nick

We want to recognize one more time the four newest certified firefighters on the York Village Fire Department. FF Ryan Michel, FF Mac Poulin, FF Adam Schoff and FF Adam Stone. These four men spent their own time to complete a 300 hour program to become certified interior firefighters for the Town of York. The service to York is free to the taxpayers. We are lucky to have such a huge volunteer firefighting force when many towns are starving for help. Pictured below are FF Adam Stone, Chief Chris Balentine and FF Adam Schoff.

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Tonight We drilled on firefighter rescue and R.I.T. skills. R.I.T. stands for Rapid Intervention Team. At every fire where firefighters are committed to fighting the fire from inside the building (interior attack) a R.I.T. team must be standing by outside the building. These firefighters MUST be proficient with advanced firefighting, search and rescue and other techniques. In the event that the interior crew gets into trouble while fighting the fire a R.I.T. team can be quickly deployed to rescue the firefighters inside and lead them to safety. This is a very high risk operation and requires the firefighters to be well trained prior to such an event happening on an actual fire scene. At the drill Thursday night, members used a vacant building and set up several stations. In one of them, firefighters had to breach through a simulated wall and fit through the 16″ gap between studs with all their turnout gear on (including Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus SCBA) In another station firefighters took turns moving a downed firefighter up and down stairs to remove the injured member to safety. and in the third station, members had to go over a 4′ high wall in a narrow hallway which didn’t leave firefighters too many options for positioning themselves to move the downed firefighter over the wall. Techniques were taught by seasoned members of the department to the younger less experienced members to make them more efficient and versatile.

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FF Stone graduates Firefighter 1 & 2 class

Posted June 23, 2014 By Nick

We are proud to announce another graduate of the Firefighter 1 & 2 class, Adam Stone.  FF Stone joined the York Village Fire Department earlier this year and has spent around 300 hours in this class.  We are extremely grateful to have such a large membership of volunteer firefighters, especially a large group who are fully certified.  Our members do not get paid to attend classes, they are done completely on their own time.  While many fire departments around us are hurting for help, the York Village Fire Department is almost 100% volunteer with nearly 40 active members.  Only three of our firefighters are full time, the rest do not get paid to answer calls.  Congratulations FF Stone for your accomplishments and thank you for your dedication.

FF Adam Stone with Chief Chris Balentine at the Firefighter 1 & 2 Graduation

FF Adam Stone with Chief Chris Balentine at the Firefighter 1 & 2 Graduation

   

Thursday night forcible entry training

Posted June 19, 2014 By Paul Balentine

Firefighters

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from York Village trained on forcible entry using the Friction Force Door loaned my the Maine Fire Service Institute. With the forcible entry prop comes other props that allow firefighters to be proficient with using other forcible entry tools allowing us to be more efficient at our job when seconds count. Here in the photo members pose with Engine 4 before beginning the training.image