Members of all four Mount Desert Island fire departments participated in a two-day training over the weekend. PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Fire training brings departments together

BAR HARBOR — Members of all four Mount Desert Island fire departments participated in a two-day training event this weekend hosted and taught by Bar Harbor firefighters. Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont and Bar Harbor often work together in mutual aid arrangements during real fires. Training together has the added benefit of familiarizing firefighters with each other and with other departments’ equipment and operations. Trenton Fire Department is also often in the mutual aid and cooperative training mix, but were busy with a pancake breakfast event.

The former town garage on Ledgelawn Avenue, complete with smoke inside from a smoke bomb, served as training facility for interior exercises.

“It’s kind of going back into the basics of firefighting, some of the stuff we learned back in Firefighter I and II training in Fire Academy,” Bar Harbor chief Matt Bartlett said. “We’ll hit a lot of that this weekend. Then we’re freed up to work on more advanced skills during our weekly trainings.”

Teams rotated through stations to work on handling and setting up ladders, using ropes to move and secure equipment, advancing a hose to attack a fire and loading hose back on a truck, and entering a dangerous scene to rescue a downed firefighter.

“We had good feedback from participants,” Bartlett said Monday. He hopes to make the training a regular event, aiming to draw new firefighters to island departments and refresh the skills of the veteran members.

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Liz is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Islander since 2013. She grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor. [email protected]

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