I have been reviewing some of the past history of the fire department. During the 1990’s from the beginning of 1997 through the end of 2000 the fire department responded to about as many calls in total as it does today in one year. In 2010 the fire department responded to 662 calls.
I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the changes and improvements that have occurred with the fire department since 2007.
The voters approved a bond levy in 2006 to replace an old tender. In 2007, fire department personnel and the board of directors designed a truck that would better serve the fire district. The truck was custom built for Lakeside as a pumper tender. The truck was put into service in July 2007. I would like to thank the voters for approving the bond and the board directors for recognizing the special needs of the fire district.
In 2008 the fire department successfully received grants for new hose nozzles, a portable master stream device, positive ventilation fans, hydraulic extrication tools , specific rescue tools and water handling fittings. The fire department received donations from the Lakeside Volunteer firefighters Association, Lakeside Woman’s Club and private citizens to purchase additional rescue tools. The fire department also received a donation from the Volunteer firefighters association to purchase several portable radios.
In 2009 Columbia River Fire/Rescue donated 30 SCBA’S to the district. That donation allowed the fire department to retire the old SCBA’s. At the time of the donation personnel were required to train on four different types of self contained breathing apparatus, (SCBA’S) some dating back more than 25 years. That donation allowed the fire department to retire the old SCBA’s and brought the department back into NFPA compliance.
The federal excess property program donated a fire boat previously operated by CRF&R to Lakeside Fire. The fire boat was refurbished with the help of local businesses, donations from the firefighters association and members of the community. The fire department also received a donation from the volunteer fire fighters association allowing for the purchase of several portable radios.This year the fire district will be donating those SCBA’S CRF&R to another fire district that needs the equipment.
In 2010 The fire district received a grant for new wildland packs, shelters, and PPE,(personal protective equipment ). The district was also awarded a FEMA grant for structural PPE (personal protective equipment), and a number of other items. The fire department received a matching grant from BPA and replaced all of the light fixtures and lights with lower wattage energy efficient lights.
So far this year:
• The fire department has installed new wall mounted bunker gear closets for each fire fighter to hang their turnouts.
• Installed a new state of the art SCBA Air Fill Station and Air Storage System. In the past Lakeside always had to go to other districts, usually Charleston Fire to refill depleted Self Contained Breathing Apparatus bottles.
• District firefighters are training on the newest safest SCBA’S manufactured. The Drager PSS 7000 SCBA’s manufactured in 2011.
• The Fire fighters will be receiving all new PPE ( personal protective equipment) manufactured in 2011 to the highest standard for safety and protection. New Leather Boots, Gloves, Hoods, Helmets, Helmet Lights, Turnout Jackets and Pants, Eye protection, and Safety Vest.
• The fire department will be installing a new turnout Washer/ Extractor and a Drying system to properly service and maintain the new turnout pants and jackets.
• The firefighters now have a Thermal Imaging Camera that will assist in detection of overheated electrical circuit, detecting hot spots during fire suppression activities, and providing an additional level of safety during fire ground operations.
• The fire department is in the process of installing a state of the art computer network. The computer network will be capable of providing support for all fire department administration and training needs today and well into the future. The system will include computers for the administrative officers, computers for the firefighters to use for on line training, and power point projectors to use for larger training events and public education.
Half a million in grants, donations and support
The growth that The Lakeside Fire Department has been capable of achieving in such a short time period is uncommon in small rural fire districts. Lakeside Fire Department has been changing over the last five years. During the last five years the district has received more than $500,000.00 dollars worth of grants, donations and support from the voters. This has not been an easy task to accomplish.
The Board of Directors and the Administrative Fire Officers worked hard, held many extensive board meetings, some lasting many hours, and held special meetings when necessary to meet the obligations and accomplish these goals.
Submitted by Fire Chief Ted Ross
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