Town Office: 207-732-3985

Welcome to the Town of Burlington

Where hometown spirit and community pride abound.



July 8th 2014

It has been brought to my attention that some of our citizens have a concern about actions taken and in particular the “response time” during a recent call to assist Lincoln Ambulance.

On June 15th one of our neighbors collapsed while mowing grass at a residence in Burlington. A call was made from the residence to the Burlington General Store asking for help. During that time there was an engineer from our department at the store. He advised the store owner to call 911 and then left the store and came immediately to the fire station. I commend him for his initiative to respond to the station and for following department “Standard Operating Guidelines.” A call was then made from the store requesting emergency medical service. Penobscot county regional dispatch center (PRCC) received that call at 08:36.

PRCC then “paged out” Lincoln ambulance” at 0840 to respond to the residence in Burlington. BMFD was also “paged out” at 0840 as well to assist at the scene. Burlington Fire (my self) acknowledged “page” with PRCC at 08:41. I was at my home when the “page” came in. I went directly to the station and upon arrival noted that our Engine 181 had already been moved out of the station and onto the parking area. The engineer was in the process of bringing out our “Rescue” truck which is parked behind the Engine. This truck has such things as our portable air cylinder filling station, Ice and cold water rescue suits and rehab equipment for our firefighters as well as a first aid bag and AED on board.

The engineer and I responded from the station the address given on the main road. As we pulled onto the roadway I reported to PRCC that we were in route from the station. The time was 0847. We arrived on scene at 0848. Upon arrival I observed a male patient lying on the ground near the roadway and CPR was being administered by another male. There was also two female subjects standing near. One of the females was the patient’s wife. She informed me that her husband had collapsed while mowing the grass with a push-type mower. She advised that it had been approximately 15 minutes or more since he had done so.

At that time I took over doing CPR on the patient while the engineer got our AED into service. At that time two more Burlington fire fighters arrived on scene and were assigned to take over with the CPR. I then assigned the engineer on scene to do traffic control and I returned to the “Rescue” and notified PRCC that patient had been unconscious and not breathing for approx. 20 mins. or more. As I was returning to the patient, the first Lincoln ambulance arrived on scene. The time was 08:57. Lincoln Ambulance was then instructed on what we had observed as well as what we had done and they took over the patient care. The second Lincoln Ambulance arrived at 08:59. Both ambulances left the scene at 09:26. BMFD continued to stay on scene until 11:09. All units were back at station and available for service at 11:16

At this time I would like to make sure people in our community understand our capabilities and limitations as a fire department. Since our beginning in April of 2010 we have strived to achieve a high level of service as a fire department. However at this time we do not provide “first responder level” emergency medical services. Most of our members have only “basic first aid and CPR” training. We do have two members that are “Basic EMT” qualified and certified under “State of Maine standards” but at this time the department is NOT licensed to do EMS at any level above being a “good Samaritan”

Unfortunately the two members with EMT qualifications live in our neighboring town of Lincoln so response time for them to arrive “on scene” is approximately the same as the Lincoln ambulance. That of course depends on if they are at home at the time of the call. Currently we do not have other BMFD members living in town that desire to take on the large amount to training as well as the added responsibility of this type of service. It is my opinion as fire chief that unless a “first responder” lives in Burlington and can respond directly to the scene from within our town that they will not any more effective than having the ambulance service.

Time is the enemy of saving lives in an emergency. Unless CPR is established within 4 minutes of loss of breathing, the likelihood of recovery is very small.

Because we do not meet the legal requirements or have adequately trained personnel we at this time only respond to EMS emergencies when requested by Lincoln Ambulance service for such things as traffic/scene safety, lift assists and will provide basic first-aid if patient allows us to do so.

The question to ask is “should the department obtain the licensing to provide EMS?”

To answer that question we have to ask “are there people in town that are not on the department that are willing to commit to the training and maintain the skills of being an EMT?

It requires more than just the money to obtain the licenses and equipment needed. Without men and women willing to make a long term commitment to our community we will have no more service capability than we have now.

The last thing I want to do as fire chief is to commit to our citizens that “BMFD now provides EMS!” only to not fulfill that service because of lack of committed people. EMS service is certainly something not we should be taking lightly.

If there is anyone within our community that has a desire to serve others at the “first responder” level and is willing to step forward and commit to achieving that goal than please contact me at 207-794-4025

The fire department along with our community leaders wants to provide the very best service to our family, friends and neighbors. Please commit to helping us do just that!

Thank you

Chief Smith




*****  WANTED

Experienced snowplow drivers. Class 2 license and clean driving record required. Attractive wages. Please contact by phone at 732-3985.Or by e-mail  Or by mail: Town of Burlington, P.O. Box 70, Burlington, ME 04417



A matter of great importance, both in the near term and in the long term, is coming before the town. A public hearing on this matter will be held on July 28,2014 at 7:00 PM in the town office.

 What does the article regarding the withdrawal say?

 Do you favor filing a petition for withdrawal with the board of directors of SAD#31 and with the Commissioner of Education, authorizing the withdrawal committee to expend $15,000 and authorizing the Selectpersons to utilize funds from the Capital Reserves account in an amount not to exceed $15,000 for this purpose?

This is not a vote to withdraw from SAD#31! It does give us (Burlington) the right and resources to examine the possibility. The wording for the article, although ambiguous, is required according to Maine Statutes therefore not subject to change.

 Why are we doing this now?

 MSAD 31 and consequently Burlington have financial obligations with past building construction as well as shortfalls from the financial catastrophe during the leadership of Superintendent White and board chairman Neel. We are presently in the most desirable position as those debts are winding down and the Maine Municipal Bond Bank has said that the district may not borrow any further money until outstanding debts are retired. The outstanding balances are scheduled to be fully retired in three years. After that time, Burlington would be responsible for their share of any new debt leaving open the possibility that we could be on the hook for many years. 

Burlington pays the highest per student cost in the district (by a factor of more than 250% compared to some towns). Efforts have been made to level the playing field regarding cost. These efforts included numerous proposals by Burlington representatives but all proposals were defeated.


The Burlington board of selectmen have received a petition from a group of concerned citizens requesting that the town investigate the pros and cons of withdrawing from SAD#31. By law the board must bring this issue before the town for a vote. Prior to voting to set up a committee to study this issue, the board of selectmen must hold a public hearing. Our goal is to give the voters of the town of Burlington the information required to make an informed choice on the issue. It is important to emphasize that this is not a hearing and vote to withdraw from MSAD 31. The purpose of the vote is to allow formation of a committee to explore what the town’s options are as well as the cost and impact on our taxes and students.

Some of the topics to be covered at the public hearing include:

  1. The procedure for withdrawal
  2. Potential advantages and disadvantages
  3. How students would be affected
  4. What school choice would mean
  5. Burlington’s outstanding obligations to MSAD 31
  6. The establishment of a committee to study the issue
  7. Questions will be welcome

Please watch your mail boxes and follow us here at the town’s web site for more information, dates and times.    

If you have a specific question you would like answered please write to us at or leave your written questions at the Selectmen’s office, or bring them to the hearing.


*****  HOMEOWNERS . . . 

The ISO rating for Burlington has improved to an 8B-10.  When renewing your homeowners insurance policy be sure your insurance company has that rating as this will greatly reduce your fire insurance premium.  A copy of the letter confirming this reduction may be obtained from the town office if needed.


WE WANT YOU!!!  The Board of Selectmen are looking for any residents interested In serving on the School Board (one position is available) or on the Town’s Appeals Board (two appeals board positions are available).  Please contact the Board if you are interested!