Beyond the Law, 1021 MEBJ, Pg. 134

PositionVol. 36 3 Pg. 134


No. Vol. 36 No. 3 Pg. 134

Maine Bar Journal

October, 2021




New England’s volunteer firefighting brigades have deep roots that extend back to the time before the founding of the United States. In 1631, the devastation and disruption caused by fire were serious enough for John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to institute a total ban on thatched roofs and wooden chimneys. By 1717, a volunteer firefighting company was formally organized in Boston, requiring members to bring two buckets (for water) and two large bags (to salvage property) to every fire call. In the years that followed, the tools and techniques to fight fires have become far more sophisticated, but the nation’s reliance on volunteers to fight and prevent fires has remained unchanged. In Maine, more than 70 percent of all fire departments are fully volunteer brigades. In his community of Hebron, Travis Brennan has answered the call as a volunteer firefighter to provide aid to his own neighbors in the face of real danger. Brennan, who otherwise practices law at Berman & Simmons in Lewiston, met with the Maine Bar Journal to discuss his involvement in this area.

Please tell our readers about your activities as volunteer firefighter in Hebron, Maine.

I began working as a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Hebron back in the spring of 2019. It has been about two years now. My wife is a teacher at Hebron Academy, which is a boarding and day school about 50 minutes away from Portland. We previously lived in Portland all of the year but found the commute to Hebron and Lewiston was challenging. We made the decision a few years ago to move to the school during the school year. Tat is how I ended up in Hebron with my wife and daughter.

Does Hebron maintain an entirely volunteer firefighting department?

Hebron is a fully volunteer department. Tat means that everyone has a pager. If a call comes in for the Town of Hebron, the Oxford County dispatch will send the word to our pagers, which will notify us of the nature of the call and location. People respond as they can.

How many volunteer firefighters are there in Hebron’s fire department?

At present, there are about 10-12 volunteer firefighters. Te department gets about 50-60 calls each year.

There are no casual firefighters; it is a solemn calling. What attracted you to this activity?

I first became involved in volunteer freighting back in 2001, when I was an undergraduate student at Bowdoin College. I was inspired in large part by the 9/11 attacks and...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT