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The original item was published from 9/21/2018 12:26:42 PM to 9/22/2019 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

City News

Posted on: September 21, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Portland Fire Department Hosts Federation of Firefighters 55th Annual Convention; Parade on Sept 22


On Saturday, September 22, the Portland Fire Department, in conjunction with the Maine State Federation of Firefighters 55th Annual Convention, will celebrate its 250th year of service to the citizens of Portland with a parade beginning at 10:00 AM.

The parade will proceed along the following route:


  • The parade will begin on Spring St. in front of Cross Insurance Arena and turn right on to High St. The parade will then turn right onto Congress St finishing at the intersection of Congress St and Pearl St. 

  • As the parade progresses east along Congress Street all entries will pass by the Judges Review Stand at Monument Square, where details about each entrant will be broadcast over a public address system. The parade will terminate after passing under an elevated flag held aloft by two Ladder trucks at the Central Fire Station. The anticipated length of the parade is two hours.


With more than 90 confirmed parade entries, the parade will provide observers with a rare opportunity to see over 180 years of history unraveled in the evolution and development of Fire Apparatus. From an 1836 Hand Pumper to a 2017 Engine, a 2017 Ladder, and a 2018 Rescue, the variety will be considerable. There will be a replica of the Squad 51 truck, featured on the television program “Emergency!” as well as a Monster Ladder truck. Of particular interest to area residents will be a number of McCann Pumpers, built in Scarborough and here in the city of Portland during the 1920’s through the 1950’s. One of these Portland built McCann Pumpers will be featured prominently at the beginning of the parade, bearing our Grand Marshall, Arthur Best, a retired Portland Firefighter who served our city from 1950 - 1974.

Following the parade, many of the participants will make their antique apparatus available for public viewing. There will be two locations to closely experience these beautifully preserved pieces of firefighting history. One area will be on Spring Street, in front of the Cross Insurance Arena, from Center Street up to the Spring Street Parking Garage. The Maine State Federation of Firefighters Convention itself will going on inside the Cross Arena, and a number of exhibitors will have booths set up. For those who would like to take in the convention, the suggested donation price is $10.00 per person, collected at the door. The second area to see the antique apparatus will be on Spring Street from State Street to Park Street in front of one of the historical gems of Portland, the Portland Fire Museum. We invite you to take a tour of the Fire Museum during the day while you are experiencing all the wonderfully presented fire equipment in the street in front of it. You’ll be amazed at the Museum’s collection and the history being carefully preserved there.

The Portland Fire Department welcomes all to join us as we celebrate this historical milestone as one of the oldest organized Fire Departments in the United States. We hope you’ll take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness such an impressive array of firefighting history in our city.  


The events of the weekend include the following:


Saturday, September 22nd 


Parade beginning @ 10AM:  


MSFF Convention and Vendors @ Cross Insurance Arena 9AM-4PM


  • Various fire service vendors from across New England will feature the latest vehicles and equipment in the fire and EMS industry as well as firefighting collectibles.


  • Portland Fire Lt. Sean Donaghue, along with his wife Andrea, will be promoting their new book, "Portland Firefighting!"


  • Vehicle Extrication Demonstrations @ Cross Insurance Arena at 1PM and 3PM. 


Sunday, September 23rd 


 Firefighter's Muster behind the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (350 Commercial St) @ 9AM

The Portland Fire Department is proud to host the 55th Annual Convention of the Maine State Federation of Firefighters. Members of Portland Fire Department participated in the founding of this organization and it is fitting that in our 250th anniversary year the convention returns to Portland.

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