Interim Fire Chief Gary Saunders leads local firefighters at Deputy Fire Chief Robert “Bobby” Dorr Jr. funeral on May 16. ISLANDER PHOTO BY ANNE BERLEANT

Community says goodbye to Ellsworth firefighter



ELLSWORTH — The sun shone down on caps white and blue as firefighters, other first responders and public safety officers from Hancock County and beyond gathered on May 16 to say goodbye to Deputy Fire Chief Robert “Bobby” Dorr Jr. With friends, colleagues and community members filling the bleachers at the Ellsworth Middle School track, the men and women Dorr rubbed shoulders with as a firefighter and lead fire academy training instructor spoke of a man dedicated to service.

“Help us in this hour of darkness and sadness as we honor our fallen comrade.” Rev. Bob Maddocks opened the service with prayer, followed by Capt. Mike Hangge (ret.) reciting the Firefighters Prayer.

Dorr died May 5 at the age of 43 following a battle with cancer. A three-time EFD Firefighter of the Year recipient, Dorr led a fundraising campaign to purchase particulate-blocking hoods for county firefighters as he fought for his own life. The hoods are designed to protect firefighters from breathing in soot and other toxins while fighting fires.

State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas, Hancock County Emergency Management Director Andrew Sankey and interim Fire Chief Gary Saunders all spoke of Dorr’s dedication to his craft, career and colleagues, and to the up-and-coming firefighters he trained.

“He was a true leader who was dedicated to his friends, family, colleagues and community,” Sankey said, reading from a letter sent by Governor Janet Mills.

“For a lot of us, Bobby gave us the tools, the skills and the motivation,” Lamoine Deputy Fire Chief Stu Marckoon said.

Trenton Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Amanda Corson delivered the eulogy, at Dorr’s request.

“Rest easy, brother.” Ellsworth’s interim Fire Chief Gary Saunders speaks at the service for Deputy Fire Chief Robert “Bobby” Dorr Jr. on May 16 at Ellsworth Middle School.

“For those I love, I will sacrifice. This was Dorr’s mantra,” Corson said. “He lived by those words.”

“He spoke from the heart,” she added. “And when he spoke, people not only heard him, they listened.”

Dorr also received the Joel Barnes Community Service Award posthumously, by the Berwick Fire Department, and the International Association of Firefighters Line of Duty Death Medal, awarded by the Maine chapter. The firefighter’s bell ceremony was followed by a 21-gun salute by the Maine State Police Honor Guard. A rendition of “Taps” and a flag presentation concluded the service.

“Rest easy, brother,” Saunders said. “The fire’s out. It’s time to come home.”

A private graveside ceremony at Steuben Village Cemetery followed the public funeral.

Anne Berleant

Anne Berleant

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Anne Berleant covers news and features in Ellsworth, Mariaville, Otis, Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn. When not reporting, find her hiking local trails, reading or watching professional tennis. Email her at [email protected]