Small Maine Town Fire Department Disbanded After Heated Meeting
A small town in Waldo County has been wiped out of all but one member of their fire department after a heated Select Board meeting.
Thorndike held their Select Board Meeting on Wednesday, February 20th. In attendance were 28 firefighters from the Thorndike area. According to the Bangor Daily News, the meeting became heated as "voices boomed and passions ran high."
What prompted the impassioned discussion was a letter from a group of Waldo County emergency response officials that accused the small department of endangering other firefighter's lives and referencing issues with Deputy Fire Chief, George Russell,
We will no longer turn a blind eye to this situation and will not put our members at risk under George’s leadership...[We] cannot support George due to his criminal history and lack of leadership. Please understand this is not intended to be a threat but a warning to help prevent injury, or worse, death of anyone due to a careless or inexperienced decision.
The resignation letter of the members of the department noteed issues with "outdated and unsafe" equipment as they had requested upgrades that were not approved by the town. The firefighters also supported George Russell despite his past transgressions.
The remaining member of the department is Lauren Carter who said after the meeting that she felt "a little overwhelmed" and that she "wasn't expecting to come to the meeting and have everyone behave the way they did." Selectman Bob Carter stated that despite the collapse of the department, "the town still has mutual aid agreements with other communities."