Andover Fire Department, July 2017

Annual Chicken Barbeque July 29

By Chief Rene Lefebvre

As I’ve written before, the fire department team has done a lot of training. We meet every week to conduct our business and some facet of our work is the topic of the night. We all somewhat think our class routines are, perhaps, repetitive. Then something happens that puts together all the training to make you collectively stand back and say, “Wow, that fire went really well”. Just that happened to us at a recent structure fire. Our pagers sounded the alarm; firemen responded rolling every truck we have but not all toward the column of smoke. Some set up water supply and others laid-in large diameter feeder hose while a team attacked the fire. When I arrived on the scene twenty minutes later I found fire command, operations and safety working with the firefighting team with practiced ease. The operations of a fire ground are complex, labor and machine intensive. To bring all this together in a rural setting and make it look easy is an amazing team accomplishment. I wished that we could reverse the loss to the people we serve. Unfortunately, we can only do our best. My white helmet is off to you, our firefighting team! You really did your best! Thanks!

We will soon be celebrating the birth of our nation. Please join your firefighters at our tent. We will have our snow cone machine fired up and will be selling our Kayak raffle tickets. Some say that only wacky people are willing go into a burning building. They may be right. Come to our tent and chat with us for a while; have some water and we will take your blood pressure if you like. I think you will find that we are not all that wacky after all. We very much look forward to meeting you.

On Saturday, July 29 we will be having out Annual Chicken Barbeque at the East Andover fire station. We are well over thirty years and counting. We hope that this is a family event that you look forward to each year. That has been our goal. We also hope to make some money for our equipment fund, but we hope always to provide a good meal and a peaceful evening for all. We will be serving from 5 PM to 7 PM. See you then.

The fire commissioners are in the process of selling our old rescue truck and tanker. This sale, when completed, will bring us to the apparatus count that will meet the current needs of our community without excess equipment.

We responded to a structure fire in a nearby community a short time ago. The Andover firefighters all took off in fire engines; I had planned to respond with our ambulance. At the last minute they cancelled the ambulance and requested a tanker. John Kinney and I took off in our soon to be sold tanker and headed for the fire. The fire required a lot of water and it needed to be trucked to the scene. For the next few hours John and I shuttled water to the fire. The layout of the unload point required some backing up skills and a firefighter’s favorite sport is heckling a chief while backing up. After a few loads, it became a contest to see how close the chief could get to the side of the unload tank without hitting it. Well I am proud to say he never did hit the tank. The truth is the tanker is a dream to drive and backing up is easy. However, due to age and design she is past her prime. Still, we become very attached to our machines and this truck is no different. I am pleased to say she performed well to the end, and I am proud to be her last operator. Have a safe and enjoyable summer.