Coworkers and friends on Friday remembered former Bangor Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack for a lifetime of dedication to the city’s fire department.
About 600 people attended Cammack’s funeral service at Anah Shriners hall in Bangor, including the entire Bangor Fire Department, the city’s police chief and fire chiefs from across the state.
Cammack worked at the Bangor Fire Department for more than 30 years, and after he retired, became executive director of the Maine Fire Chiefs Association.
Cammack died Saturday in Auburn, where he was in hospice care, from cancer at the age of 62.
“It was a blow to us in Bangor, but also across the state,” Bangor Fire Chief Tom Higgins said. “He was a mentor to many of us. There’s no doubt without the direction of Jeff Cammack, I wouldn’t have the job I have today.”
Higgins brought Cammack’s body to the funeral home in the chief’s truck, escorted by Bangor fire trucks and police department vehicles.
When Higgins started at the fire department in 1990, Cammack was a fire captain. Higgins remembered him as a tough and fair leader.
“He was tough on people he believed in,” he said.
Under Cammack’s leadership, the Bangor Fire Department gained two more ambulances and upgraded its emergency medical services capabilities.
“He changed our level of service from basic EMT to advanced life support paramedic service,” Higgins said. “That’s a major accomplishment, and he did it for the citizens of Bangor.”
Higgins and Cammack spoke almost every day even after Cammack left the Bangor Fire Department. They traveled across the state together, and Higgins said Cammack was as reliable a friend as he was a fire department leader.
Higgins spoke at Cammack’s funeral on Friday, highlighting the former fire chief’s years of service and their friendship. He described him as a fun guy who was serious about his job.
A retired fire chief from Missouri who worked with Cammack through the International Fire Chiefs Association and was a longtime friend flew in for the funeral.
Bangor firefighter Andy Willigar, whom Cammack trained when he started at the Bangor Fire Department, said Cammack was big in stature and big in voice.
“I learned 90 percent of what I know from Jeff,” Willigar said. “He was a force to be reckoned with, and everyone knew it.”