Sunday, July 01, 2012

The doors rolled down this morning

 A few of us were there at 8 a.m. this morning, July 1, 2012, when the last shift went off duty. A new shift didn’t arrive to take their place. Our Bethel Island Fire Station is closed.
Ben Whitener, Karen Israel, Captain Robert Ruddick, Joni Fraga-Pratt, Page Pratt, Bob Kenny

It was a sad goodbye. A volunteer fire department started on the Island in 1948. In the early 50s, a Quonset Hut was erected to house the engine. In the 1970s a paid chief and an assistant were hired and the station was manned 24/7 with paid-on-call volunteers. The firefighters have been protecting the Island for 64 years.
A single medical emergency person will be on the site for a while. Engines will come to the Island from the nearby towns of Oakley and Brentwood (over 5 miles away). The reason for the closure, we are told, is that a bond measure on the recent ballot did not pass.
This morning, about 45 minutes after the station closed, a medical call came in. The firefighters just stood there. They could not go to give aid. About 10 minutes later a fire truck from Oakley arrived on the Island.
Plans are afoot to preserve the station and get it designated as an historic structure. You will learn more about this in further posts.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Del said...

So sad and so dangerous. I am sorry. You have seven people in the picture, but only six names. I have been wondering how you are doing - hope all is well. Love.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Christine Thresh said...

I've been doing fine. I have been working very hard to get an application in to the county historical committee so the station can be preserved. It can be used as a staging area when we have fires, a storage place for equipment, a cooking place, and a restroom for the firefighters when there is a large event. There is a possibility of getting some paid-on-call volunteers by the end of the year. They would need a place to gather and rest.

4:24 PM  
Blogger BrendaLou said...

christine, I am proud of you and your fight. Keep it up...the future will unfold.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Collagemama said...

I hope the historic preservation plans work. This is a sad event for your small community.

4:47 PM  
Blogger black bear cabin said...

as a volunteer EMT for our community, i am sad to see this happen in yours. Our volunteers are a very important part of our community, and we appreciate having QRT's close by. I hope you can get things going again.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Christine Thresh said...

All these initials! EMT, QRT, and around here QRV.
I guess EMT means Emergency Medical Tech? Today I learned that QRV means Quick Response Vehicle. What is a QRT?
Training to be a volunteer firefighter in our county takes 230 hours, plus more hours for medical training, and then 100 of driving training. Ongoing classes have to reach 200+ to keep on working as a volunteer.
It is a wonder that anyone volunteers.
Keep up the good work.

9:43 PM  
Blogger JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

how sad that we don't always see the need for taxes that protect us - especially when the amount is so tiny for each household. It is a good thing to preserve the history and remember those who served.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Del said...

QRT might be Quick Response Team.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Rama Herbal said...

There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. cara menyembuhkan kurap dan panu

8:17 PM  

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