I am writing on behalf of my peers in the Metro Fire Chiefs’ Coalition, a group of fire and emergency medical service leaders from several communities in the Portland area. One concern that we share is the lack of qualified candidates to fill vacant firefighter and paramedic positions. Each year, the candidate pool gets smaller and smaller.

This fall there is an opportunity to support Southern Maine Community College by voting “yes” on Question 5. A “yes” on 5 will invest $15 million in the seven community college campuses, including $4.2 million right here at SMCC for important upgrades to facilities and infrastructure.

As employers of the well-trained candidates who SMCC produces each year, we ask the public to join us in support of Question 5, which will help SMCC meet the ever-increasing need for skilled workers in southern Maine, not only for public safety but also in many other critical trades.

Michael Thurlow


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