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Community joins Frenchville firefighters at open house

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Kaleb Daigle, 2, of St. Agatha said he already plans on becoming a firefighter when he grows up. Daigle, along with his older brother Kamden Daigle and cousin Logan Pelletier attended a Frenchville Fire Department open house on Saturday. The event included demonstrations by firefighters, games for children, a free hot dog roast and of course, fire trucks.

Kaleb Daigle, 2, of St. Agatha enjoys sitting in a firetruck during an open house at the Frenchville Fire Department on Saturday, June 16. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Kaleb, wearing a red plastic firefighter hat, spent a great deal of time hopping in and out of the fire trucks.

“He loves police cars and fire trucks and whatever has flashing lights,” Pelletier, 11, said of his young cousin.

“I do,” Kaleb responded. “I want to go in the big truck.”

Kamden Daigle explained that the boys’ father Jason Daigle is a St. Agatha firefighter, which sparked Kaleb’s interest in the subject.

A young girl has fun operating a fire hose with the assistance of a firefighter at the Frenchville Fire Department Open House on Saturday, June 16. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Kamden Daigle’s favorite activity at the FFD open house was an obstacle course where youngsters carried shorter versions of fire hoses, pounded on a wooden block with a hammer and unraveled some rope. Children also sprayed a wooden board shaped like the front of a house with a fire hose, with assistance from real firefighters.

Several of the firefighters provided a Jaws of Life demonstration to a large and curious crowd of spectators.

Frenchville firefighter Andrew Guerrette, 23, demonstrated how firefighters put on all of their gear. Fire departments have a two minute standard for dressing in their gear, which includes an air tank and boots. Guerrette accomplished the task in one minute and 23 seconds. He has volunteered as a Frenchville firefighter for about a year now he said. Prior to that, he volunteered for a department down state for a year, after moving away to attend college.

Firefighters Adam Paradis (left) and Mark Albert, cut a windshield from a vehicle during a demonstration at a Frenchville Fire Department open house on Saturday, June 16. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

“I love my community a lot; I’d pretty much do anything for my community,” he said.

The FFD currently has 22 volunteer firefighters, according to Fire Chief Peter Parent.

Parent said he estimates “a couple hundred” people attended the open house throughout the day.

“We do this every year to make us more well known in the neighborhood,” Parent said. “We want to get people involved and let them know that we are here and we are here to serve them.”

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