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September 8, 2008


University of Maine at Fort Kent President, Dr. Richard W. Cost, recently recognized one of the University’s students, Ms. Danielle Fortin of Madawaska, for her quick action following a lightening strike on the UMFK campus.

Danielle is a senior, majoring in Secondary Education, with a concentration in Mathematics.

“On Monday evening, as we were entertaining the parents of new students at Acadia House, a summer thunderstorm arrived.  We all heard one especially loud clap of thunder and everyone agreed, ‘that was close,’” Dr. Cost wrote to Danielle.  “Of course, it turned out that it was even closer than we thought; either hitting -- or just missing -- the Old Model School.”

Immediately following the strike or near miss, Danielle, a work study student of the University’s Information Services Department, called the Fort Kent Police and Fire departments. Fire trucks were on campus within minutes of Danielle’s call.

As it turned out, UMFK personnel had properly grounded the building and the buildings telephones, computers, and internet services, while briefly interrupted, quickly were restored.  The building itself, the oldest on campus dating back to 1909, also was not affected.

It very easily could have been otherwise.  Had it, in fact, been an actual emergency, Danielle’s prompt action would have been critical in minimizing the damage to hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and a landmark campus building.

“I commend you and thank you for knowing what to do, and taking exactly the right action so quickly. From all of us on campus, thank you very much for a job very well done,” Dr. Cost added.