Smoke And Ladders
A Maine county made safer with fire prevention efforts
Aroostook County in Maine is known for its sheer size – it’s the largest county east of the Mississippi – and for being the northernmost point in New England. Now it’s also known for safety.
Because of Aroostook County’s remote location and size, response time of fire trucks can be lengthy. Also, many families live in older, wood-framed, two story farmhouses, with bedrooms on the second floor. This is an added challenge when rescuing families from a home fire.
To help keep families safe, Cary Medical Center created the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. Working with the American Red Cross, local fire departments, and State Farm, the program provides free fire escape ladders and smoke detectors to local residents. Fire escape planning education is also offered.
One family that was helped were the Becks. Police Officer Kristopher Beck, wife Miranda, and their three children moved to the rural, Canadian border county two years ago. “We enjoy the quiet life here and this is a place where people genuinely look out for each other,” says Kristopher.
Last year, a member of the local fire department and a Cary Medical Center representative visited the Beck’s home. They brought a free fire ladder and showed the Becks how to properly install and use the ladder.
“All of our children took part in the training and our family feels safer,” explains Kristopher, a local detective. “We now have peace of mind, as well as an emergency, lifesaving option. I hope we will never need the ladder, but if we do, we are ready!”
“Miranda looks after our three year-old daughter during the day, while I’m at work and the other kids are in school,” says Kristopher. “I feel better knowing they are safer while I’m working and serving others.”