It’s the time of year, with Christmas trees and overindulging, when our local firefighters and paramedics will be called upon to put out house fires, attend to drunken drivers and treat heart attacks.

How do they know what to do when they arrive? It’s simple: They train. They use up-to-date standards of operation and protocols that they’ve studied and discussed, and they understand their role at an emergency and the relevance of a chain of command.

A daylong training session, with an updated booklet that each firefighter and volunteer will receive, is scheduled in February for the Ogunquit Fire Department. The acting chief, Ed Smith, considers this a serious and mandatory annual exercise that is supported, if not required, by state emergency medical services licensing, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the town insurer, to name a few. This was his practice during the previous years he was chief, and in the three months he’s been back, his plans to reinstitute this important process are moving forward.

Researching and writing updated protocols is tedious, and the information given at a daylong training may be a lot to absorb. But it’s an opportunity to get tasks clear and coordinate with colleagues. It fosters good morale and the kind of support our firefighters and EMS personnel require and deserve. Thank you, Chief Smith.

Rebecca Fox


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