Michael Hinds Photo courtesy of Denise DeAngelis

Michael Hinds, a longtime volunteer firefighter for Alfred Fire and Rescue who dedicated his life to serving others, died Friday. He was 60.

Hinds died at his home in Sanford after suffering a medical emergency, said his sister, Lisa Gross of Sanford.

Hinds joined Alfred Fire and Rescue in 1997 as a firefighter and served on its call force. He was remembered by fellow firefighters this week as a kind, funny and hardworking colleague who had a passion for fire service.

Fire Chief Chris Carpenter said Tuesday that Hinds was a mentor to young firefighters and well-known within the local fire and EMS community. Carpenter said Hinds often did traffic control at fire scenes, took fire photos and assisted with fire investigations. He said Hinds was a kind soul who had a big heart.

“He was great for morale. He always came in with a smile,” Carpenter said, choking up. “He was always there to help. He had that passion and drive for fire service.”

Berwick Fire Department issued a statement Friday on its Facebook page saying southern Maine lost a “true firefighter.”

“Mike’s passion and love for the fire service was like no other. He will be greatly missed by many.”

Hinds was known for his knowledge of different types of fire trucks and equipment. Carpenter said he tried to secure a used fire truck for Alfred. He also helped the Sanford Fire Department secure a used ladder truck.

Michael Hinds Photo courtesy, Denise DeAngelis

Hinds volunteered at Sanford Regional Technical School teaching students in the fire science program. He also served on the board of directors for the York County Firefighters Association.

Gross, Hinds’ younger sister, said Tuesday that he loved the brotherhood of being a firefighter.

“He loved to help people,” his sister said. “He had a heart of gold. He really did.”

Hinds served the department for 24 years. His Facebook page was filled with dozens of stories, photos and tributes.

Newfield Fire Captain Denise DeAngelis, a longtime friend, said Tuesday that the fire service was his whole life.

“It was in his blood,” said DeAngelis, of Acton.

Hinds grew up in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and was a 1979 graduate of Wakefield High School. Following school, he enlisted in the National Guard and served for many years.

Gross shared memories of their early years, noting they were both adopted.

“I loved my brother,” she said. “We had a very strong bond. He was good to me and I was good to him. I’ll miss his daily phone calls. He called me every day to check on me and see if I needed anything. He was such a good person.”

Gross said her brother died on her birthday. She said he called Friday morning to wish her a happy birthday, and said he didn’t feel well. Gross said he told her he would call later to check on her.

Hinds called 911 when he began to have difficulty breathing. Gross said Sanford Fire and EMS responded to his home, where he had a medical event and died.

“The whole town knew him,” his sister said. “He used to walk around town and offer a lending hand to anyone. He put a smile on people’s faces.”

A firefighter’s funeral service will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at Alfred Park. Alfred Fire and Rescue is asking participants to wear a mask.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.