Wilton Fire & Rescue Capt. George Guptill, right, shakes the hand of Deputy Fire & Rescue Chief Tom Doak on Sunday on his retirement after about 65 years of service. Forty were in Wilton and 25 in Rangeley. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

WILTON — Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Tom Doak was honored Sunday by colleagues, family and friends during a ceremony commemorating his retirement from about 65 years of fire service.

Deputy Fire & Rescue Chief Tom Doak signs off from the Wilton Fire & Rescue Department on Sunday after 40 years of service. He was also a firefighter in Rangeley for 25 years, starting when he was 16. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The 81-year-old Wilton resident served 40 years on the Wilton Fire & Rescue Department and 25 years on the Rangeley Fire Department. He also served in the emergency medical services for 25 years and was a paramedic when he retired.

Doak and his father, the late Harlan Doak, and 14 others started the Rangeley Volunteer Ambulance Service. Tom Doak started in the fire service at 16 years old in 1967.

The Wilton Lions Club building was standing room only for the ceremony. Doak’s wife, Elaine, sat next to him near the podium.

Firefighters thanked Doak for his advice, leadership and father-figure style.

“Tom was an inspiration to me, getting me into an officer position,” Capt. Bob Burdick said. He said he would tell Doak he wasn’t ready, but Doak told him he was.


“Thank you for your leadership,” Burdick said.

Steve Smith, director of NorthStar EMS Ambulance Service, said he learned many things from Doak. On behalf of NorthStar, he thanked him for all he had done for public safety.

“We are really going to miss you,” East Dixfield Fire Chief Randy Hall said.

Wilton Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Tom Doak, at the podium, thanks people Sunday for their support during his 65 years of service in Wilton and Rangeley during a retirement ceremony at the Wilton Lions Club. Standing with the Wilton resident are Wilton Capt. Bob Burdick, left, and Ron Morin, right, who started a private ambulance service in Carrabassett Valley. Doak’s wife Elaine looks at Doak from her seat. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Doak said he appreciated the support he has received.

He said he had previously had cancer and went through chemotherapy in “nine months of hell.” It was during that time that he decided to go to school to become a paramedic.

“It had been fun,” he said.


Doak signed off for the last time and took his last official ride in Ladder 7.

In 2017, the Wilton Select Board dedicated the Town Report to him, Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri said.

“The town is going to miss him, but we’re happy he’ll be able to take some vacation time and enjoy himself,” she said. “We wish him well.”




Comments are no longer available on this story