Scott Hunter, left, who retired from the Oxford Fire Department after 44 years of service, receives a clock and plaque from board chair, Dana Dillingham, honoring his service. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

OXFORD — Oxford’s Board of Selectmen honored one of its own at last Thursday’s business meeting.

Scott Hunter, a member of Oxford’s Fire Department since the age of 15, retired from service this fall. He was presented with a plaque and clock in recognition for his long-standing service.

Hunter has served in all ranks of the department, from junior firefighter to chief, during his 44 year tenure. At the time of his retirement his role was deputy chief for EMS.

He continues to work at the Auburn Fire Department, where he is entering his 30th year. His rank at AFD is battalion chief.

For the last nine years he has served on Oxford’s board of selectmen, where he is currently vice-chair.

“I started in 1979,” Hunter told the Advertiser Democrat following last week’s presentation. “I was inspired by my uncle, who was a firefighter and chief. After I turned 18 I became more involved and moved up the ranks [in Oxford] to deputy chief, and then I was elected as chief.”

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Hunter led the fire department between 2005-2015, years when its chief was an elected position. When the town transitioned from elected part-time to appointed full-time, he declined to apply for the position. Instead he moved over to Paris Fire Department, becoming fire chief there following the retirement of its former Chief Brad Frost. Hunter was with the Paris department for about a year until the town did away with its per diem staffing.

“I went back to Oxford, starting as a private again,” Hunter said. “And worked my way up the ranks again, to EMS deputy chief.”

Upon entering his 45th year, Hunter took stock and decided it was time to step back.

“The service has changed,” he said. “It seems the core values [of firefighting aren’t as important]. There is no other job where you go in and people place critical trust in you. For a mother to be able to hand her two-year-old child to a stranger and say ‘help me.'”

To a degree, he sees that shift happening inside as well as outside of public safety service.

He will remain with AFD at least until his daughter Alison graduates from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

In addition to commitments to the Auburn department and Oxford’s select board, Hunter fills his time at Depot Square Hardware in Mechanic Falls, which he and his husband Chad Boulet Hunter bought in 2022.

When his current term as selectman expires in 2024 Hunter plans to run for reelection.

“I love our town, and there is still lots of work to do,” he said. “We’re looking toward a new highway garage. We will need to to deal with the north [fire] station. And our roads need work.”

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