Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

November 1: Emergency Services on the Peninsula

Maine’s is the “oldest state in the Union” with a median age of 45.0 years, almost two years older than the next two states, New Hampshire and Vermont. Hancock County’s median age is 48.8 years. Blue Hill is 50.3 years; Brooksville is 53.0 years.

There has been a lot of discussion on the Peninsula about how to attract younger, working-age residents to fill the many open jobs and opportunities—from discussions centered on affordable housing, to improved community events for younger adults, to higher wages across the board.

To some degree, higher pay and greater “perks” can attract younger workers. But the Peninsula’s fire departments and EMS organizations are typically run, if not staffed, entirely by volunteers.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll discuss the current state and future of the Peninsula’s emergency services in this context.

  • Will the Peninsula have to wean itself from relying on volunteers for these essential services?
  • Is there a reasonable strategy for addressing the increasing lack of volunteers willing to, or capable of, staffing these activities?
  • If not, can a “regionalization” strategy work?
  • Or are we destined to abandon the volunteer model and adopt the “big-city” paradigm of full-time, paid staff in these key roles?

1 Comment

  • At least before March 2020, Brooklin had a strong EMS network, centered in the Fire Department, with the only employee being the Fire Chief.
    The town budget and donations have funded new equipment and training.
    EMT training can be a path to employment in health services.
    Regional cooperation has been strong, if slightly informal. Communications have mostly gone through Hancock County.
    2019 Emergency calls were: 38 EMS; 30 powerline on road; 13 fire alarms, 6 vehicle accidents and 5 mutual aid to neighboring towns

    Covid effects may have changed the dynamic.


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