By Eleanor Cade Busby
The Brann and Crummett families gather to see the dedication of the new Somerville fire truck. The truck was purchased by the Brann family and outfitted by the Crummetts in memory of Cecil Brann who was a founding member of the department. (Eleanor Cade Busby photo)
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Somerville Assistant Fire Chief Tim Dostie presents Scott Emery with a plaque in recognition of the contribtion of Cecil Brann’s heirs in purchasing a new fire truck for Somerville. (Eleanor Cade Busby photo)
The Somerville Volunteer Fire Department dedicated the town’s newest fire truck to Cecil Brann on Saturday, June 14.
On Saturday almost 100 of Brann’s friends, relatives, and Somerville neighbors gathered to see the new truck dedicated.
David Greer acted as Master of Ceremonies. “Two families were instrumental in obtaining this fire truck” he said “The heirs of Cecil Brann who donated the money to buy the truck and the Crummett family who paid to outfit it.”
Brann, 92, died when his farmhouse on Crummett Mountain Road in Somerville burned down Jan. 24, 2013. Scott Emery, a nephew of Brann’s and one of his heirs, remembers that night. “I was in Portland when I got a call from the department that they needed help to find out where Cecil might be in the house,” said Emery, “I’m not sure how fast I drove but it was as fast as any firefighter. When I arrived it was bitterly cold, freezing and windy. The firefighters were working with equipment that froze in their hands.”
“The trucks were iced up,” Somerville Fire Chief Mike Dostie said. “One was damaged more than we could hope to repair.”
Scott Brann heard through the grapevine that one of the trucks had to be replaced and decided to ask the heirs to Cecil Brann’s estate if they would help. “The lawyers said we had to jump through all kinds of hoops,” he said. Instead Brann took the direct approach. “I wrote to everyone and said we all should kick in $1,000 each from our shares. I gave them 10 days to object. The only thing I heard was encouragement so I sent the check.”
Brann sent off a check to the Somerville Fire Department in memory of Cecil, to help buy the used truck. At the time Dostie was hunting for a new truck with no knowledge that the Branns were preparing to help
“Greenwood Emergency Vehicles helped us to find a 1988 pumper in Wells,” said Dostie.
Chief Dostie spoke about the arrival of the check at the dedication ceremony on Saturday. “Martha, the town clerk, opened the mail,” he said, “She hollered, ‘you are not going to believe the amount of this check.’ She was right, it was the exact amount we needed and no one had told them that.”
The truck is decorated with a sign on the side to the memory of Cecil Brann painted by Jerry Joly, of Joly’s Signs. Joly stayed up painting until 4 a.m. Saturday morning to have the truck ready for the dedication. The sign includes a silhouette of the pine trees and farmlands that Cecil Brann loved.
Orrin Crummett’s family donated the money to outfit the new truck. Crummett was fire chief in Somerville for 19 years, serving 50 years total with the department. “The air packs are all mounted now, and that means we can all ride one truck thanks to these folks,” Chief Dostie said.
Both the Brann and Crummett families were given plaques expressing the gratitude of the fire department and the people of Somerville for their generosity. Both families accepted with pride and chose to have their plaques stay in the Firehouse.
The new pumper has a 1000- gallon tank and a 1250-gallon-per-minute pump. It will allow faster response times and can carry five individuals at once. The truck went out for a spin with some Brann family members on board Saturday, with sirens blaring.
“This is a good day for us,” said Chief Dostie. “Not only do we have this beautiful new truck, but our old truck is going on to help out our neighbors”
The retired Somerville pumper has gone to Monhegan Island, where they were in need of a bigger truck. The 1000-gallon-per-minute pumper was extensively repaired by the same Greenwood group that located the larger truck for Somerville.
Every fire department in Lincoln County has donated materials and supplies to outfit the Monhegan truck. The fire chiefs of all the local departments are traveling to Monhegan in two weeks to train the volunteers there on using the truck.
Cecil Brann had no children, according to nephew Scott Emery, “He considered this community his family. We are so happy we could help out with the purchase of this new fire truck in his memory.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the day of the week in several places, and incorrectly listed Orrin Crummett’s name. The Lincoln County News regrets the errors.