MOUNT DESERT — Volunteer firefighter Andrew Flanagan has been honored as the town’s Firefighter of the Year.
A member of the Fire Department since 2008, he holds certifications in wildland firefighting, ice and cold water rescue, hazmat response and vehicle extrication. He also is an EMT with the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service.
“Andrew is capable, honest, trustworthy, compassionate and committed to the department and the citizens it serves, always ready and willing to jump in and help,” said Fire Chief Mike Bender.
The Fire Department also has honored former Northeast Harbor Library Director Bob Pyle for his decades of service to the town as a public safety volunteer.
He was first hired as a reserve summertime police officer in 1969.
“I went from the Police Department to the old Northeast Harbor Fire Company and then back to being a reserve cop,” he said. “Later, I went to the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service, where I did traffic control. Then the Mount Desert Fire Department came along, and I went with them.”
Overall, with the exception of a gap of just a few years, Pyle handled traffic control for 46 years. He said he stopped because of a half-joking promise he had made to his wife.
“When we got married [43 years ago], she asked me how long I was going to keep responding to emergencies, and I told her I would stop when I turned 70,” he said.
He celebrated his 70th birthday last October.
Pyle was head of the Northeast Harbor Library from 1972 until his retirement in 2011.