WATERVILLE — Allen Nygren, the city firefighter and emergency medical technician who stepped from one vehicle roof to another to help the victims of a massive pileup of vehicles Feb. 25 on Interstate 95, was honored Tuesday night by Mayor Nick Isgro and other city officials.

Nygren, 47, was on his way home to Hampden that snowy, slippery morning after working a 24-hour shift at the Waterville Fire Department and came upon the crash as well as smaller accidents, which involved a total of 75 vehicles, in Carmel and Etna. Nygren performed triage at the scene, identifying which victims needed medical attention first and calling ambulances accordingly. He worked more than five hours at the scene before driving home that morning.

Isgro told city councilors, firefighters and others who attended Tuesday’s City Council meeting that Nygren put his own life at risk and acted in a selfless and professional manner to provide emergency medical care to many injured and trapped motorists.

He said Nygren went above and beyond the call of duty and recognized him for his heroic actions.

Nygren, who also teaches safety classes to firefighters and others, received a standing ovation from Isgro, city councilors, City Manager Michael Roy and others, including his fellow firefighters and Fire Chief David LaFountain.

“I do just want to say as a personal note that this is the kind of integrity I think we have in the Waterville Fire Department, and people should know what good hands we’re in,” Isgro said after handing Nygren a mayoral recognition.

Rep. Henry Beck, D-Waterville, also praised Nygren.

“He has more sentiments coming from the state,” Beck said.

Nygren sat in the back of the room with his wife, Susan, before the ceremony.

Afterward, standing with firefighters in the hall outside the council chambers, he said he did not feel as if he did anything special Feb. 25.

“I mean, I did, but any one of these other faces you see here would have done the same thing,” Nygren said. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

During his work at the accident scene, a man noticed that Nygren had no gloves, so he gave him his pair. Nygren said he did not know who the man was, but he is about to meet him.

“He called me at the station today,” he said. “He’s coming to the station on Sunday.”

Susan Nygren said her husband did what he does daily in his work, but just on a larger scale.

“He’s the hardest-working person I know, hands down,” she said.

Waterville Fire Capt. Rodney Alderman said Nygren is not the type of person who seeks recognition.

“Al is one of the most humble persons that you’ll ever meet,” he said. “He does his job. He does his job well.”

Fire Lt. Scott Holst concurred.

“He knows that it’s part of the job,” he said.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors took final votes to designate areas of the city part of a natural gas municipal development and tax increment financing district and adopt a development program for that district. They also voted to authorize Roy to advertise for bids to buy a self-service fuel system for Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport.

Meanwhile, Beck, a Democrat representing District 110, which includes parts of Waterville and Oakland, thanked Isgro for visiting the State House recently and said he and other legislators are listening to constituents about revenue sharing and the state budget.

“What’s the prognosis, Henry?” Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, asked.

Beck noted that Sen. Roger Katz said recently he thinks state revenue sharing will be restored.

“I like his optimism,” he said.

A Republican, Katz represents Senate District 15, which includes Augusta, China, Oakland, Sidney and Vassalboro.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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