Memorial honors long-time firefighter Philip Emond

By Douglas McCulloch | Jul 22, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Family members and Select Board member Shawn McDonald unveil the new memorial.

Philip Emond had a hand in saving so many lives, it was hard for anyone to nail down an exact count.

Emond, one of the town’s first EMTs, long-time firefighter at District No. 3, and an avid fisherman, was honored with a plaque and memorial at the Reed Road bridge, just north of Sherbrooke Road, where he spent his free time fishing. Emond passed away in July 2016 at the age of 70 after a long illness. The Select Board voted in 2016 to rename the bridge in his honor.

“There are many residents in this town, both needing the services of STAT, and of [Dartmouth Fire District No. 3] that relied on and thanked Phil for the work he has done,” said Selectman Shawn McDonald at the ceremony.

Former Dartmouth Town Administrator Michael Gagne worked with Emond to secure the town’s first EMS contract with STAT Southcoast, replacing a bare-bones service operated by the police department with full-time EMTs and ambulances. The new service originally operated out of a garage at the police station. Emond – a long-time advocate of the new service – was one of the first EMTs to start in 1980, and one of its longest-serving members of the company.

His brother, Ron “Aba” Emond, never even realized how much of an effect Emond had on the lives of those in the community.

“The reason for that is because he had no ego, and doing good just came natural to him,” Ron said.

It wasn’t until after Emond passed away in 2016 that Ron learned just how meaningful his brother’s life had been to those who knew him, and those whose lives he saved. One story stuck with him in particular. On a day when Emond was not on duty, he rushed to the scene of a serious car accident on Old Westport Road, attending to a 13-year-old girl who was not breathing.

He had just finished training to use a new piece of equipment called an air tube intubator, which had not been used by the department yet. He remembered his training, applied the device, and saved the young girl’s life. He later met the girl whose life he had saved years later.

“There is nothing more worthwhile in life than saving the life of an innocent person,” Ron concluded.

Fire District No. 3 Chief Richard Arruda detailed Emond’s long tenure with the department, which began in 1968 and stretches for nearly half of the district’s 84-year history. Emond retired in the mid-2000s.

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