February 19, 2020
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Bangor Fire Chief Cammack remembered as mentor and ‘a force to be reckoned with’

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Bangor firefighters salute as the casket of former Bangor Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack and family members enter the Anah Shrine Temple for his funeral service on Friday morning. Cammack, who died on Saturday, was remembered for a lifetime of being dedicated to fire service.

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.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
The casket of former Bangor Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack is carried into the Anah Shriners hall in Bangor on Friday morning.

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.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
A flag flies from Bangor Fire Department’s Ladder 6 in front of the Anah Shriners hall on Broadway for the funeral of former Bangor Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack, who died on Saturday.

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.”

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
About 600 people attended the funeral service for former Bangor Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack on Friday at the Anah Shriners hall in Bangor.

After Cammack retired in 2012, he continued to advocate for fire department training funds and facilities and emergency medical service before the state Legislature.

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.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Mourning bands are worn for the loss of former Bangor Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack.

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.”

 


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