RAYMOND — Even in death, David Mains continues to bring people together.
Mains, a captain in the Raymond Fire & Rescue Department, died last week at the age of 48 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash in Massachusetts.
Family, friends, firefighters, motorcycle club members and the surrounding community packed the Jordan Small Middle School gymnasium in Raymond Monday morning for a memorial service.
“We’re all lucky – all of us in this room – because we know David and his family,” said longtime friend Brooke Wagner. “There is some degree of solace in this sense of community that David has created.”
Wagner and other speakers described a man committed to his family, work and hobbies with a great amount of energy and dedication.
“He was all-in all the time,” said Bradley Hodges, a friend and colleague from architectural and engineering firm SMRT where Mains worked.
Hodges described Mains as a “talented architect” as well as a “booming personality with unmatched energy and an unmatched voice.”
Mains meant “so many things to so many people” within the workplace, Hodges said, and had a particular affinity for working on projects that involved fire safety or hazardous chemicals.
“His work will ensure the safety and protect the lives of thousands of people” Hodges said.
Richard Shephard of the Casco Fire-Rescue Department gave welcoming remarks at Monday’s ceremony, which included a processional of first responders from Raymond and around the region and a gauntlet of riders from the firefighter motorcycle club Fire and Iron of which Mains was a member.
Shephard said Mains lived a “short but full life” and had a “fire burning inside of him for the fire service” which “cannot be extinguished.”
Raymond Fire-Rescue member Michael Tedesco remembered Mains, a 10-year veteran of the department, as “a leader, a mentor to our younger members.”
Tedesco recounted the first fire call he responded to as a rookie, when Mains’ calm demeanor helped steady his nerves.
“I knew I was going to be all right as long as he was by my side,” Tedesco said.
Mains chaired a committee working on the development of the town of Raymond’s new tanker truck, which Tedesco said will now be named in Mains honor.
Tedesco also told the Mains family that the department will be there for them.
“You are members of our family,” he said.
Mains’ wife Jen survived the crash, and they have four children: Sean, Noah, Anthony Joseph (AJ) and Kirsten.
Sean Mains spoke Monday, calling his dad a “great guy” who would be proud of how his children have stayed strong during an incredibly difficult week.
“But we’re going to make it and we’re going to remember him,” said Sean, the oldest of the Mains children. He said the lessons their father taught them will endure.
David Mains’ aunt, Alice Mains – only 12 years his senior and more like a sister – shared several memories of growing up together in Raymond.
She said her nephew loved to cook and bake, and described the amount of support the Mains family has received as “a bit overwhelming.”
Pastor Joanne Elise Engquist provided the eulogy, and said that the news of Mains death initally took her breath away. Since then, she has committed to “live as fully and freely and as completely in love as David would have.”
Wagner encouraged the audience to consider the ways in which Mains was a positive force in many lives, as evidenced by the large and diverse group in the school gym, and to strive towards matching his enthusiasm and impact.
“Look around this room, and think about the challenge that David has put before us,” Wagner said.
The service included firefighter honors, and members of the Raymond department were joined by surrounding departments and Fire and Iron members in memorializing Mains.
Raymond Chief Bruce Tupper read a firefighters prayer and Deputy Chief Cathy Gosselin presented Mains’ firefighter helmet to his family.
Windham Fire Chief Brent Libby and New Gloucester Fire & Rescue Captain Scott Doyle each gave readings.
“We’re all a close knit group,” said New Gloucester Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Ladewig after the memorial service.
Shephard described the fire service as a brotherhood where members can rely on each other in difficult times.
“In this day in age, we need the brotherhood more than anything – especially on a day like today,” Shephard told the audience.
Reggie “Doc” Porrier of the Lewiston Fire Department and Doug “Dudley” Kerr of Raymond Fire & Rescue folded an American flag to be given to the Mains family and Raymond department member Peter Holmquist gave the final reading before department member Chris Nassa tolled the final alarm bell for Mains.
The last call, a tradition in firefighter funerals, was echoed with a radio message from the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center broadcast out on emergency channels and amplified for the audience to hear at the middle school.
“Godspeed, may you rest in eternal peace,” said the dispatcher.
Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.
Members of the firefighter motorcycle club Fire and Iron, of which Mains was a member, salute as his casket arrives at the memorial service Monday.
Family, friends, firefighters, motorcycle club members and the surrounding community packed the Jordan Small Middle School gymnasium in Raymond Monday morning for a July 2 memorial service in honor of Capt. David Mains.
Raymond Fire & Rescue Chief Bruce Tupper stands at the front of a firefighter processional before the memorial service for Capt. David Mains.