HPFD Completes Upgrades
Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the High Prairie Community Council, the Department was able to purchase two complete sets of structure fire turnouts (aka bunker gear) to replace seriously dated and worn out gear. In addition, the Department itself funded two more sets, for a total of four.
The HPCC funding is one of the many benefits to the community resulting from the annual Firehouse Sale. A big THANK YOU from your fire and rescue volunteers to the community.
One complete set of turnouts consists of a coat, trousers, boots, head shroud, helmet and gloves. This gear is made of expensive fire-resistant fabrics and other materials, thus the cost. Our firefighters expressed relief at the lightweight nature of the gear, which enables them to move easier and faster, unlike the old bulky turnouts that required considerable effort to work in.
Another grant for the second year in a row from the Legends Casino in Toppenish resulted in the purchase of three more new Bendix King Command radios. Thank you, Legends Casino.
And a third grant from the Washington Department of Natural Resources for $4,700 enabled us to install a foam firefighting unit on our old work horse apparatus #1422. The eight-gallon foam unit will add even more versatility to this truck’s utility in fighting both structure and wildland fires.
The Department training room in the fire hall now has new carpet, lights and two windows, making it much more useful.
Fire and Rescue Personnel Changes/Activities
Our Fire Commissioners now have a new Administrative Assistant. Welcome aboard to Glenna Scott who will record the proceedings at meetings, play “gopher” to the Commissioners and do a whole lot more.
Riley Haner, our youngest volunteer, is off to Western Washington University in Bellingham where he plans to specialize in either engineering or biology in the Honors Program. Riley hopes to spend some quality time in the nearby mountains when not studying, going hiking, biking and skiing (hope he took good rain gear!).
This summer Department volunteers responded to State mobilization requests and earned some cash for the District. Ron McDonald and Dave Thom went to the Snake River fire near Pomeroy for three days (and discovered yellowjacket bees are thick in that area and hate to be disturbed). Philip Haner and RonMcDonald also spent three days, plus travel time, on the Suncrest fire in Leavenworth, and Will Conley was there even longer serving as Task Force Leader.
Last, but certainly not least, Dave Thom states he plans to retire from being retired, and do nothing! (We all know better, as he is always the first to the hall in an emergency and is often found at home working on Department radios and the apparatus electronics.)
Quick Tips From the Chief
—Have you checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries this year? On many detectors it just takes the push of a button. Better yet, replace those batteries on a regular basis.
—Prepare for the upcoming winter heating season by cleaning your chimney and woodstove. In addition, the placement of a cap on the chimney will keep out birds and other wildlife that can cause damage or force smoke into the house.
—Dryer lint caught in the exhaust pipe elbows and connectors can be the source of a fire and reduce the efficiency of your appliance.
—Remember, the Burn Ban is still in effect at least through the end of September. That means NO open burning. Even after the ban is lifted, be extremely cautious, as fuels left from summer will still be tinder-dry for some time.
–When burning is finally allowed, that is the time to remove ladder fuels (lower limbs) from your pine trees and burn the slash so it doesn’t promote beetle infestations.
Speaking of burning, before you light off that slash pile, please notify the Sheriff’s Dispatch of your location (509-773-4547). All too often, concerned citizens call 911 to report a fire, not knowing it’s an attended burn pile, resulting in your volunteers taking time away from their families and whatever they are doing to respond to the page.