2018-03-13 / Front Page

Legislature honors 40-plus year BFD veteran


AUGUSTA — For more than 40 years, Normand Melancon responded when the alarm sounded at the Biddeford Fire Station. He performed acts both ordinary and extraordinary during his years of service.

In honor of his years with the Fire Department, and in celebration of the many recognitions he received for his heroism, BFD Capt. Melancon was awarded a Legislative Sentiment on Tuesday at the State House in Augusta. A Legislative Sentiment is a significant expression by the Legislature in recognition of civic and public achievements.

Melancon retired from the BFD in July, after 42 1/2 years witih the department. At a retirement party for him on July 12, Fire Chief Scott Gagne said, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with him when I came in as a private. I can’t say enough about the leadership that he’s given me and the inspiration as I started.”

“It was an honor to recognize Captain Melancon’s career and service in the Maine Senate this week,” said Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford, in a press statemetn on Friday. “He had a very distinguished career and I was so proud to be able to recount some of the many stories of his bravery and heroism.” 

One of the recognitions Captain Melancon received during his career was the Silver Star for Bravery from the American Police Hall of Fame for an act of true heroism. “He and his crew responded to a call from a 'street box,' which was used to signal a fire before 9-1-1," according to statement on behalf of Deschambault. “They arrived, fully decked out in their gear – but there wasn't a fire. Four kids had fallen through the ice. Even though they didn't have ice rescue equipment, Capt. Melancon and his crew used their ladders to get out on the ice. Despite falling through the ice himself, Capt. Melancon managed to save two of the children."

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