Biddeford currently has one fire station on Alfred Road. Alan Bennett/Journal Tribune file photo

BIDDEFORD — The city of Biddeford is working to create a new fire and EMT substation that would aim to provide faster emergency services to the city’s eastern half. The project took another step forward during a Biddeford City Council meeting last week when the body appointed three Biddeford residents to serve on the fire substation’s building committee. The members of the committee will be tasked with working directly with the project’s architect to make recommendations on the station’s design.

The ad-hoc committee formed in 2022 to investigate the need for a new fire station in eastern Biddeford laid out an alarming picture during a presentation to the City Council in April.

The committee presented a map demonstrating how the existing fire station on Alfred Street is able to provide much quicker response times to residents living in the western part of Biddeford. Those clustered near the fire station can expect assistance in less than four minutes, while residents living east of Proctor Road can expect waits above six minutes. The problem is most acute along the coast, where those requesting help can routinely expect to wait over 12 minutes.

Construction of a new fire station would help bring response times for eastern Biddeford down to wait times typically seen in the rest of the country. A 2017 study published in JAMA Surgery examined nearly 500 emergency medical service units throughout the United States and found that emergency medical service units averaged a seven-minute response time, though the average response time was more than twice that for rural communities.

“Longer EMS response times have been associated with worse outcomes in trauma patients. In some, albeit rare, emergent conditions (eg, cardiopulmonary arrest, severe bleeding, and airway occlusion), even modest delays can be life threatening,” wrote the authors of the study.

The city of Biddeford is working to mitigate these risks. In August, City Council approved funding for additional engineering and architectural plans and last Tuesday appointed three citizens — Paul Brady, James Plamondon and Scott Joslin — to the building committee. All three appointees bring valuable construction experience to the table.


In his application to be appointed to the building committee, James Plamondon wrote that he has 43 years of experience in the electrical and construction business. He noted that he has a vested interest in the fire substation project because he grew up in Hills Beach. He has also served on multiple commissions in Biddeford, including the Biddeford Airport Commission.

Paul Brady of Brady Construction, Inc — a contracting firm in Biddeford — wrote that he has 50 years of experience as a builder, though no experience on a board or commission. “(I’m) always willing to help improve my home town,” he added.

Scott Joslin wrote that he has just moved to Biddeford and is looking for an opportunity to “serve the city.” He noted that he has worked in the commercial construction business for 40 years, including at the Pepperell Mill Campus in Biddeford, though he has not previously served on a board or commission.

The city may also look to appoint one to two more citizens to the building committee. The building committee will have seven members in total, according to city spokeswoman Danica Lamontagne. The new Biddeford fire chief, who is starting in October, will lead the committee and one or two more staff members will also join the body. If two staff members are added, then the city will seek only one more citizen to join.

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