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Bus cutting demo draws crowd to N.H. Bragg

Posted July 05, 2012, at 9:28 a.m.
During an open house held Thursday, June 28 at N.H. Bragg & Sons on the Perry Road in Bangor, the Lenox Team Hackman Bus Cutting Showdown drew strong crowd interest in the afternoon. Representing Lenox Tools were Lee &quotHackman" Breton (inside bus) and his daughter, Kelly Breton.
During an open house held Thursday, June 28 at N.H. Bragg & Sons on the Perry Road in Bangor, the Lenox Team Hackman Bus Cutting Showdown drew strong crowd interest in the afternoon. Representing Lenox Tools were Lee "Hackman" Breton (inside bus) and his daughter, Kelly Breton.
Bangor Fire Department Lt. David Dow battles the vibrating reciprocating saw and the metal side of a school bus as he makes the final cut at N.H. Bragg & Son on Thursday, June 28.
Bangor Fire Department Lt. David Dow battles the vibrating reciprocating saw and the metal side of a school bus as he makes the final cut at N.H. Bragg & Son on Thursday, June 28.
Representing the Brewer Fire Department, firefighter-EMT Bill Reaviel uses a Milwaukee reciprocating saw as he cuts open a school bus during a June 28 competition held at N.H. Bragg & Sons.
Representing the Brewer Fire Department, firefighter-EMT Bill Reaviel uses a Milwaukee reciprocating saw as he cuts open a school bus during a June 28 competition held at N.H. Bragg & Sons.

Bangor’s and Brewer’s finest went saw-to-saw with Massachusetts car-demolition experts during the open house held Thursday, June 28 at N.H. Bragg & Sons in Bangor.

Among the activities scheduled during the day-long open house, the Lenox Team Hackman Bus Cutting Showdown drew strong crowd interest in the afternoon. The showdown saw the Lenox Team — representing Lenox Tools from East Longmeadow, Mass. — competing against teams from the Bangor and Brewer fire departments to see who could cut apart an old bus the fastest.

“I’ve been doing this for 29 years,” said 68-year-old Lee “Hackman” Breton, clad in a red, white, and blue Lenox shirt. He worked 48 years for Lenox Tools before retiring in 2010.

Assisting him was his 27-year-old daughter, Kelly Breton, who works for Lenox Tools in marketing. She first helped her father saw apart an old vehicle during the 2006 N.H. Bragg & Sons open house; the Bretons sawed open a 1984 Chrysler K-Car in 58 seconds, which “has been my best cutting time,” Kelly said.

“I’ve done a lot of cuts by myself,” she said. “I picked up a lot of his slack when he retired. It’s especially great since I’m following in my father’s footsteps.”

Wielding reciprocating saws equipped with Lenox 960G demolition reciprocating saw blades, the three teams started cutting after the crowd counted down from 10 to one. Perched atop the bus, Lee Breton used a Rockwell reciprocating saw to cut swiftly to each roofline; then he passed the saw to Kelly, who cut the sides.

Although the goal was to see “who cuts the fastest,” only the Lenox Team was timed, Lee Breton said. Vehicle cutting comes almost naturally to him; “I’m a destroyer. I like to cut things,” he explained.

The Lenox Tool sawed away the competition and finished as firefighters continued slicing open their sections of the bus. “It was great,” Kelly said. “It was fun.”

Visitors watching the competition had the opportunity to guess how long the Bretons would take to saw the bus apart. The winner received a stocked Lenox Tool bag.

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