International Mutual Aid
The towns of Calais and Milltown, Me., and St. Stephen and Milltown, N. B., adjoin one another, separated only by the narrow St. Croix River and the International Boundary between Canada and the United States.
This boundary is non-existent when it comes to fire fighting. There is no stopping at the customs and immigration station when an emergency call goes out for mobilization of joint fire control forces. Then the mutual aid running card may call apparatus to respond from both sides of the border, with half a dozen companies swinging into action without delay in any of these small towns.
On July 14, 1948, fire was discovered in the basement of the new Methodist church in Calais, Me. Starting directly beneath the belfry, the fire spread through partitions of the building and smoke was pouring from every section of the structure when first firemen arrived under Fire Chief Harry Tracey of Calais.
Calls for help to the “international group” speedily brought fire fighters and equipment from the other three towns, St. Stephen and Milltown, N. B., and Milltown, Me., and this mobilization soon had the fire under control. The fire did not reach the main body of the recently redecorated church but there was considerable smoke and water damage.
The spirit of reciprocal service was further exemplified when the Canadian contingent departments joined the recent Fourth of July parade in Calais, together with six neighboring departments. The Americans go across the border, likewise, to help celebrate Dominion Day, in St. Stephen.