Thorndike residents vote "yes" to creating municipal fire department

THORNDIKE, Maine. (WABI)- Residents of Thorndike gathered at a Town Meeting to decide whether to turn the fire company into a municipal department.

They voted "yes" to creating the Thorndike Municipal Fire Department.

We are told at the meeting that several weeks ago a letter from was sent from four Waldo County emergency service officials that started a conversation about how the structure of the fire department.

"Now the public gets to know where any kind of donation ends up, what we are actually spending on, things like that, which is good. It brings everyone back together."

Residents say they are hoping for something good to come out of the change.

"Right now we are in a really bad situation I think but as far as municipality fire departments, we'll see how it goes. We did vote for it. I think people just voted out of knowing that things are not going well now and hoping for a change."

Three new selectmen were also appointed.

They will be in charge of hiring a new fire chief.

One new selectman says he hopes residents will feel more comfortable coming forward with issues.

"If they have an issue with the fire department they can come to a selectman meeting, they can talk to us directly whereas before we were essentially hiring the fire department to work itself."

Reggie Cunningham, who says he has filled in as assistant chief, thinks something good is going to come of the change.

"I think that going municipal is a good idea and I think good things are going to happen now that come out of it. I was approached by the selectmen before all this went down to be chief and I told them no, just too much responsibility, I don't want that."

The three new selectmen will have their first meeting next week to get the ball rolling with hiring a new fire chief.

"It's Thorndike's 200th anniversary so I guess it is a good time for a change."