2015-09-25 / Community

South Portland fire department recognizes five

By Duke Harrinton
Staff Writer

SOUTH PORTLAND — The South Portland Fire Department has issued its annual awards of merit, honoring five of its members at the Monday, Sept. 21 city council meeting.

Among those recognized were Lt. Justin Maietta, Firefighter Brian Smart, Firefighter Peter Googins, EMT George Ouilette and Lt. Paul Salway.

Salway, who joined the SPFD in 1995, was recognized as Fire Officer of the Year. Described as being “instrumental” in the training of rookie firefighters, Salway “incorporates this training into the everyday operations of the department,” Fire Chief Kevin Guimond said.

“He goes above and beyond to educate our members, in both fire and EMS functions, and strives to shape our employees to a higher level of professionalism, and does this always with the highest concern of safety in mind,” Guimond said.

Recognized as the Call Company Officer of the Year, Maietta won the Call Company Firefighter of the Year award five years ago.

“Since then, he has stepped into a leadership role at Willard Hose Company and has excelled,” Guimond said. “He has continued to be a role model for our newest members, and has earned the respect of the call company and full-time firefighters within the department. Justin has also encouraged his two younger brothers to become members, and they also have become key components of the department. This dedication and involvement is essential for the continued success of our call companies within the community.”

While the fire department has a dedicated crew of fulltime, career firefighters, it is augmented by call company members, sometimes volunteer firefighters, who train to the same standards as career firefighters, but respond to emergency calls on an as-needed basis, often working around other full-time jobs. Guimond said last year Maietta responded to more than 100 emergency calls.

“He also has taken a leadership role in the renovation at the station as well as training the members,” Guimond said.

As Firefighter of the Year, the department recognized Smart from among the career staff, and Googins from the call companies.

Described as “an extremely talented firefighter,” Smart “excels in all aspects of the fire sciences,” Guimond said.

“This past year, he took on a more accomplished role for the department, and has guided his crew on some of the most difficult emergencies encountered,” Guimond said. “He is always calm and professional under pressure, and is both a great leader and mentor for the South Portland Fire Department.”

Googins, one of the newest members of the crew, having joined in 2013, answers calls for Engine 6 Company.

“He has already moved quickly to gain the respect of his peers and aggressively train in many aspects of the fire service,” Guimond said. Googins is a nationally registered EMT and successfully completed pro board certification in the Firefighter I and Firefighter II training programs.

“Peter has quickly become a key member of our team, and for that reason he has been selected by his peers as our call company firefighter of the year,” Guimond said.

Named EMS Provider of the Year, Ouilette joined the fire department in 2002.

“He has progressed through our EMS system and become an exceptional paramedic,” Guimond said. “He always puts the welfare of his patients first and has developed a calm and reassuring bedside manner that displays confidence as well as compassion.”

This past year Ouilette stepped up to become an EMS instructor coordinator as well as a CPR instructor.

“He has consistently performed at a very high level and for that reason he was selected as our EMS Provider of the Year,” Guimond said.

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