FRYEBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — In the western Maine town of Fryeburg, the fire department is celebrating an amazing accomplishment of not one, but two, of its members.
Capt. Corliss Watson and Capt. Gay Kiesman love the camaraderie they find at the Fryeburg fire house.
"Seeing all the guys every month and talking with them," Capt. Kiesman said.
So much so, they have been coming here for 70 years. That's right, each of them has been active members of the department for seven decades.
"It is a long time, don't know as you'll see many more to make 70," Capt. Watson said.
It's simply astonishing for a department to have one long-serving member like that, but to have two?
"Two members of a department that have a cumulative 140 years of service is just truly remarkable," said Chief Andy Dufresne.
One is 88, the other about to turn 91. They both started here in 1946. Watson was 17 at the time, Kiesman 20. Over the years Watson served two stints as chief.
"Enjoyed it. Had a lot of good help. Everybody pitched in good, got along good, department went good," Watson said.
Neither of these guys go out on calls anymore, but they are still part of the fabric of this department.
"They come here to the station and participate. So from an activities perspective, we consider them active members," Chief Dufresne said.
The chief says their service is what small town volunteerism is all about.
"To have two gentlemen with this many years of service is a testament to their character and what being involved in a small community is all about," he said. "Helping your neighbors and helping each other out."
NEWS CENTER did some research and was not able to find anyone across the country with 70 years of active service in a fire department. And there are two right here in Maine.