Monthly Archives: July 2014
Brings neighbors together; Inspires junior firefighters…This year’s barbeque raised more than $1,500 for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department and allowed at least a dozen junior firefighters to earn their “Fire Chief” hats. The weather, the music and the company made for a great summer evening.
Word on the street from last year had it that the Summer Barbeque was kind of boring for kids. So this year, there was a scavenger hunt and some firefighting to do. Those that could extinguish a simulated fire flaming from four windows of a fireman’s training house earned their Fire Chief’s hat and bragging rights. Few junior firefighters could resist the opportunity to squirt water from a high pressure fire extinguisher and put out a fire. Who could?
Jason Abbott and Stacey Hutchison, graduated on Sunday, July 13, from the Tri County Firefighter Academy One and Two Programs in a ceremony at the Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham. Jason also earned top honors as class valedictorian and delivered the class address.
Graduates came from 11 departments spanning Yarmouth to Westport Island and west. They completed classroom work and practical exercises encompassing firefighting resources and equipment; survival; live fire events; search and rescue; incident command and hazardous materials. The program concluded with State written and practical exams.
Jason and Stacey, who both have full-time jobs and families, committed over 300 hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as long Saturdays, for almost six months to fulfill the requirements to become state certified firefighters for the Island. Westport’s Fire Department, like many local departments, is an unpaid all-volunteer team of first responders for medical, fire and hazmat incidents.
On behalf of his classmates, Jason asked, “Why did we put ourselves through this?” And, continued…“I believe it’s because we are all here with one basic goal: to help people, whether its people in our own hometown, or its helping people while we’re working for some full-time department somewhere. Our goal is to help people in some of their greatest times of need. We have all heard this call, and we have all answered.”
Celebrating the start of summer
The band Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park” set the tone for a fun evening at the Community Association’s recent “modern” square dance. Casual attire and a mixture of tunes that ran the gamut from traditional square dance to Michael Jackson had Island square dancers laughing and dancing their way through a fun June evening. The square dance event was the first — but not the last — square dance the Town Hall is likely to see in modern times. Those who rediscovered the fun of toe-tapping music, swinging their partners and weaving a room with dance are already talking about doing it again next year.
The dance was called by Walt Bull from Topsham, a regular on the Maine square dance circuit. Trying to keep up with allemande left, allemande right, swing your partner and “do si do” kept everyone thinking, moving and laughing.
Background music, “Spanish Fandango” courtesy of Smokey Hormel Live at WFMU on Jeffrey Cobb’s Show, 4/3/2008