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Push to rename Unity Bridge after fallen firefighter

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 3:27 PM EST
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UNITY, Maine (WABI) - Almost 70 years ago, Unity’s assistant fire chief died in the line of duty.

There’s an effort underway to ensure the sacrifice and legacy of Alton “Mac” McCormick is never forgotten.

“Our plan is to dedicate it in honor of Alton Mac McCormick,” said Sen. Chip Curry, D-Belfast.

Curry represents Senate District 11 in Waldo County. He’s sponsoring the bill to have this bridge bear the fallen hero’s name.

“In 1954, Hurricane Edna came through, and this stream, this is Sandy Stream, and it rose dramatically, and a car coming from Albion came across, a family of 10, eight kids and two adults, and their engine stopped. The Brockway family and their engine got flooded, and they got trapped in the water, rose dramatically, very fast. And they got stuck out in on in the water on top of their car,” said Curry.

McCormick was among a group that tried to save them by forming a human chain.

“And one of the children, Ruthie and Mr. McCormick, and two other rescuers were swept down the water. They’re able to save to the rescuers, but the child, Ruthie, who is eight years old, and Mr. McCormick, perished in this real act of heroism,” said Curry. “It tells a story for us that we need right now. It’s about, you know, it’s this amazing story of someone committing to service and being at the call, and we need that today. And, it’s a reminder today of the service and sacrifice that people need, you know, for our fire departments, for our EMS, you know, all the work that people are doing to take care of each other. It’s an inspiration for all of us, and the Brockway family and the McCormick family, there have been these are all in this area.”

The measure has made its way out of committee and next heads to the House and Senate, then hopefully to the governor’s desk.

If all goes according to plan, there would be a dedication ceremony this summer, which members of both the McCormick and Brockway families have informed Curry they’d like to attend.

“Since putting legislation in, so many people have reached out to me and saying that they were impacted by this event that happened so long ago. I just learned that a colleague and friend of mine that I work with, you know, she’s alive because you know, because they were rescued because her father was one of the children in that car, and you know, it’s real, it’s real and personal,” said Curry.

Brian Sullivan: “The Butterfly Effect.”

“Yeah. Oh amazing. The ripples through through decades,” said Curry.

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