BREWER, Maine — Fighting fires is in the blood of the Dore family.
“I’ve been going to fires and chasing the firetruck since I was a kid,” Assistant Fire Chief Chris Dore said Monday, recalling the many times when his father, an on-call firefighter for Brewer, would be needed to save someone’s home or business.
“When he was called he went, and we went along with him,” he said.
After fighting fires for 40-plus years, Dore’s dad, Richard “Dick” Dore, turned in his gear —boots, jacket and helmet — last week and retired. He had earned the rank of captain and is one of four generations to serve the community as part of the fire service.
“My dad’s uncle was the first full-time fire chief in the city. His name was Raymond Wood,” Chris Dore said. “My dad had another uncle, Bud Shand, who was a firefighter. I know his grandfather — my great-grandfather — Charles Wood was a firefighter.”
Dick Dore joined the force on Dec. 1, 1969, two months after his son was born.
“He actually worked for a little while in the mid-’60s and then left,” Chris Dore said. “So all together, it’s a little more than 40 years.
“He’s a great guy,” his son said proudly. “He loves the fire service and loved being a fireman.”
Dick Dore said Monday that he doesn’t want any fanfare.
“I’m not interested,” he said, only adding that “I’ve enjoyed it and everything, and it’s been fun.”
For Fire Chief Rick Bronson, the empty spot left with Dore’s departure is still a strange experience for him.
“I never had a day in this department when he wasn’t here,” Bronson said.
Dore was a skilled firefighter who earned the respect of those who worked with him, the chief said.
“He is a firefighter and he knows the game, and has proven it many times,” Bronson said, adding he “would give Dick incident command over any working fire, any fire.”
Even though Dick Dore may not want to be placed into the spotlight, “I think after 40 years he ought to be honored,” Bronson said.
Chris Dore joined the Brewer Fire Department in May 1988, while in college, and became a full-time firefighter in 1992.
Over the years, he and his father have fought side by side a number of times.
When becoming a firefighter, you learn just how dangerous the job is, Chris Dore said, adding as a child he seldom worried about his father. As a firefighter, however, his father’s safety was always in the back of his mind, he said.
Dick Dore may have retired from the Fire Department, but he’s still working at Eastern Maine Medical Center in information systems, his son said.
Assistant Chief Dore said he expects his dad will still show up at fires, but this time he’ll have a different type of equipment.
He’ll show up “with camera in hand,” he said.