ALFRED — The York County Chiefs Association is proud to announce that a York County Hazmat Technician has been honored as the Maine American Legion’s Firefighter of the Year for his efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christopher Allen, who also serves as a call firefighter with the Wells Fire Department, received the honor during ceremonies on June 12 atthe Maine American Legion Annual Convention in Brewer.
Allen was at the forefront of COVID-19 response from the initial days of the pandemic.
He assisted organizations in developing respiratory protection programs to protect employees who cared for or worked with those infected with COVID-19, and to help those organizations prevent the spread of the disease.
“He stepped up, countless times, weekends, after hours, holidays, to ensure all of our safety,” said Wells Fire Chief Mark Dupuis.
“I believe that his efforts slowed the spread of COVID-19 and saved lives,” said Chief Roger Hooper, York County Fire Administrator.
Allen developed a program to fit-test N95 respirators, assisted implementation of testing within York County, and trained members of the Maine National Guard how to fit-test. Through these efforts more than 2,000 health-care and public-safety workers were fit-tested. Allen later provided training to York County organizations, so they could train their staffs and maintain proper protocols.
“Even when our teams were not working in his county, he was always available for consultation and coordination,” said Maine National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Dave Cheney.
He also led decontamination teams that responded to more than 100 public and private facilities within York County following suspected COVID-19 contamination.
“Chris is not one to talk about his work or what he’s done,” said Adam Hartwig, York County liaison for the Maine Center for Disease Control. “He made our community and state a little safer each day.”