SEBAGO — On any other town emergency call, Chance Gallant may have been one of the first on scene working to help others. Instead, his fellow Sebago Fire/EMS members found themselves trying desperately to save one of their own.

Gallant, 20, was accidentally shot in the chest Sunday afternoon while target practicing with a group of friends at a Baldwin gravel pit, police say. An hour-long attempt to revive him was unsuccessful.

Now the Sebago community mourns a native son who served as a firefighter and EMT in his hometown, balancing that with a job at the Poland Spring bottling facility in Hollis.

As the community prepares for an Aug. 4 memorial service at Sebago Town Hall, those who knew Gallant remember him as a “good kid” with a big heart, someone who worked hard and cared for others.

“He would give you the shirt off his back in a blizzard if he thought you needed it more,” said his father, Dwayne Gallant.

He said it was a tragic accident but also noted that his son “died doing what he loved: shooting his guns.”

Gallant also enjoyed jet skiing and snowmobiling, and “lived a full life and then some,” his father said.

“We got very lucky with him,” said his mother, Melinda Gallant. “We had 20 good years.”

“He never got into the drugs, never drank and never said a bad word about anyone,” his father said. “Everything that kid did, he did with love and to the full extent.”

“He was a great one, that’s for sure,” said Sebago Fire Department Deputy Chief Alan Greene.

Greene said Gallant was the “nicest kid you could ask for” and that he “would do anything for us” at the department. Gallant wanted to be a firefighter and worked hard to achieve that goal, Greene said.

Gallant and five friends were target shooting at the gravel pit when one of their rifles jammed, according to a press release from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. While two in the group were trying to fix the rifle, it went off and struck Gallant in the chest, the sherriff’s office press release said.

Sebago Rescue and Life Flight personnel responded, but were unable to revive him after trying for more than an hour, the release said.

Greene said that several of Gallant’s friends also worked at local fire departments and worked initially to try and save him before Life Flight and two paramedics from Sebago arrived.

According to Greene, the normal time spent trying to revive someone is about 20 minutes. He said the rescue team “went above and beyond” in trying to save their colleague and friend.

Greene said on Tuesday that the department is still wrestling with the loss, and that a group would be getting together at the town beach that evening to support each other.

“That’s what they need right now as a group,” Greene said, adding that “it’s not going to be an easy thing” for the responders who tried to save Gallant to get over.

Greene also said that he knows Gallant’s friends who were at the gravel pit.

“The kids that were with him are good kids … they all went through fire science together,” he said. “It wasn’t anything they did wrong… it was just a mistake.”

“I’d have trusted any one of them,” he said.

Gallant graduated from Lake Region High School in 2014. He spent his senior year at the Lakes Region Vocational Center, where he studied fire science and ignited a passion in the process.

“Truly, you saw a young boy mature into a young man who really had a purpose,” said former vocational center director Rosie Schacht, noting that Gallant would often come back after graduation to help train the new fire science students.

Schacht, who retired this year as vocational center director, described Gallant as upbeat, kind, respectful and helpful. She said he was chosen by faculty as the center’s 2014 Student of the Year and was honored at a banquet for fewer than 30 students chosen from each of the vocational high schools across the state.

Schacht said that she is “absolutely heartbroken” for the Gallant family.

“It’s very difficult. He was part of our family,” said Schacht, who plans to give remarks at Gallant’s memorial service.

Gallant went on to Southern Maine Community College, where he studied fire science for a year and earned EMT and firefighter certifications, according to an SMCC spokesman. He studied at the school’s Maine Fire Service Institute and participated in its live-in fire science program.

As part of the program, Gallant lived and worked at the East Windham Fire Department.

Windham Fire Chief Brent Libby said that Gallant was part of the department from July 2014 to August 2015 and that “he was a good kid” and “good member for us.”

Greene said it is hard these days to find young people willing to work like Gallant.

“From our perspective, he was our future,” Greene said. “We don’t get kids like that.”

In Sebago, Greene expressed gratitude that other local fire departments have stepped up to help cover the town on Thursday and Friday so that Sebago Fire/EMS can focus on honoring their fallen member. He said the department has received a “tremendous outpouring of support” from the community and neighboring departments.

The memorial service will take place at the Sebago Town Hall on Friday, Aug. 4, at 1 p.m. and will be followed by a procession to Hancock Pond Road Cemetery. Visiting hours were held on Thursday at Dolby Funeral Chapel in Windham.

As of Monday, police were still investigating the accidental shooting incident, which took place at approximately 1:45 p.m. Sunday off Carl Burnell Road in Baldwin. The investigation was turned over to the State Police.

Dwayne Gallant was clear that he holds no ill will toward his son’s friends who were with him in the gravel pit.

“I love every one of those kids … they were their own little family,” he said.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.